When pressed by an earnest undergraduate to define modernism or queried by a more sophisticated one on what “we” really mean by the term, I usually respond with an epigram like “I'm against you, and all your old, dead things,” as Ursula Brangwen quips in D. H. Lawrence's The Rainbow (428). Joking aside, I am hoping they will come away from the conversation, or at least my course, with a sense that the art we call modernist gravitates around a few key events and concepts: the First World War, the Second Industrial Revolution, the Freudian unconscious, Darwinian evolutionary theory, and so on. An attempt to make it new in fragments that happened on or about December 1910. In The Phantom of the Ego: Modernism and the Mimetic Unconscious, Nidesh Lawtoo sets out to reframe this traditional account, offering readers a very...

You do not currently have access to this content.