Jesse Matz's Modernist Time Ecology is a book brimming with ideas. It analyzes a wide array of cultural objects, from canonical modernist works to contemporary novels and films to the It Gets Better Project. The list of authors covered is impressive. Charles Dickens, Marcel Proust, William James, Henry James, Thomas Mann, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, William Faulkner, and Ralph Ellison all have substantial walk-on parts. Chapter-length discussions are given to E. M. Forster, J. B. Priestley, and V. S. Naipaul. Henri Bergson is shown to be compatible with Mikhail Bakhtin, while the time philosophy of J. W. Dunne is rescued from (partial) obscurity. All of these authors are discussed with the subtlety and expert close reading that readers of Matz's previous work on Impressionism and the modernist novel have come to expect. And yet the metaphor at the heart of the book is...
PAUL STASI teaches twentieth-century anglophone literature at SUNY Albany. He is the author of Modernism, Imperialism, and the Historical Sense (2012) and coeditor (with Jennifer Greiman) of The Last Western: Deadwood and the End of American Empire (2013) and (with Josephine Park) Ezra Pound in the Present: New Essays on Pound's Contemporaneity (2016). His current book project, tentatively entitled Remainders of Realism, traces the persistence of realism's defining concerns—sympathy, sociality, class—into the modernist period.
Paul Stasi; Cultivating Time. Novel 1 November 2020; 53 (3): 481–484. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-8624697
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