Modern Lives: A Cultural Re-Reading Of The Lost Generation
Publish Date: 1996-04-01
Author: Marc Dolan
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Modern Lives traces the development of the idea of the lost generation and reinterprets it in light of more recent versions of the American 1920s. Employing a wide range of historical, literary, and cultural theory, Marc Dolan focuses on American versions of the lost generation, particularly as they emerged in the autobiographical writings of the generation's supposed members. By examining the narrative and discursive forms that Ernest Hemingway, Malcolm Cowley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and others imposed on the raw data of their lives, Dolan draws out the subtle relationships between personal and historical narratives of the early twentieth century, as well as the ways in which the mediating notion of a distinct generation allowed those authors to pass back and forth between the personal and the historical. Written with the general Americanist rather than the theoretical specialist in mind, Modern Lives opens out the concept of the lost generation to reveal the clashing formulations of self, society, nation, and culture that were contained within that concept and that continue to influence personal and national self-conceptions in America right down to the present day.