Cover image for Manifestoes : provocations of the modern
Title:
Manifestoes : provocations of the modern
Author:
Lyon, Janet.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Ithaca, N.Y. : Cornell University Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
x, 230 pages ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780801436352

9780801485916
Format :
Book

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Material Type
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Status
Central Library PN51 .L936 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Since the 17th century, manifestoes have defined the aims of radical groups, individuals and parties while galvanizing revolutionary movements. The author of this volume shows that the manifesto is both a signal genre of political modernity and one of the defining forms of aesthetic modernism. Ranging from the pamphlet wars of 17th-century England to dyke and ACT-UP manifestoes of the 1990s, her text offers an extended treatment of this influential form of discourse.


Summary

For more than three hundred years, manifestoes have defined the aims of radical groups, individuals, and parties while galvanizing revolutionary movements. As Janet Lyon shows, the manifesto is both a signal genre of political modernity and one of the defining forms of aesthetic modernism. Ranging from the pamphlet wars of seventeenth-century England to dyke and ACT-UP manifestoes of the 1990s, her extraordinarily accomplished book offers the first extended treatment of this influential form of discourse. Lyon demonstrates that the manifesto, usually perceived as the very model of rhetorical transparency, is in fact a complex, ideologically inflected genre--one that has helped to shape modern consciousness. Lyon explores the development of the genre during periods of profound historical crisis. The French Revolution generated broadsides that became templates for the texts of Chartism, the Commune, and late-nineteenth-century anarchism, while in the twentieth century the historical avant-garde embraced a revolutionary discourse that sought in the manifesto's polarizing polemics a means for disaggregating and publicizing radical artistic movements. More recently, in the manifestoes of the 1960s, the wretched of the earth called for either the full realization or the final rejection of the idea of the universal subject, paving the way for contemporary contestations of identity among second- and third-wave feminists and queer activists.


Reviews 2

Choice Review

Lyon (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne) offers an innovative, far-ranging study of this "undertheorized genre." The author begins with 17th-century tracts by the Diggers and Levellers (of Britain's "Puritan" revolution) and Olympe de Gouges's feminist manifesto on the rights of women (composed in revolutionary France, 1791). She deftly connects this discussion to crucial philosophical and critical debates on the emergence of the public sphere--debates initiated by J"urgen Habermas. Lyon explores the aesthetic avant-garde's politics and links with the struggle for the rights of women in the 19th and 20th centuries. Two key chapters include discussions of Filippo Marinetti's futurism, Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound's modernism, suffragette Christabel Pankhurst's The Great Scourge and How To End It (1913), and the more nuanced work of Mina Loy. Lyon provides an equally welcome discussion of the French feminist manifesto "Combat pour la liberation de la femme" (1970) and of Monique Wittig's Les Guerrill`eres (Eng. tr. by David Le Vay, 1971), giving Wittig's fierce eloquence, foresight, and lack of feminist sentimentality welcome prominence. A complex, lucid, and nuanced study of the manifesto as the "signature genre" of aesthetic and political militancy, this volume will be indispensable to all college and university collections, upper-division undergraduate through faculty. K. T"ol"olyan; Wesleyan University


Choice Review

Lyon (Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne) offers an innovative, far-ranging study of this "undertheorized genre." The author begins with 17th-century tracts by the Diggers and Levellers (of Britain's "Puritan" revolution) and Olympe de Gouges's feminist manifesto on the rights of women (composed in revolutionary France, 1791). She deftly connects this discussion to crucial philosophical and critical debates on the emergence of the public sphere--debates initiated by J"urgen Habermas. Lyon explores the aesthetic avant-garde's politics and links with the struggle for the rights of women in the 19th and 20th centuries. Two key chapters include discussions of Filippo Marinetti's futurism, Wyndham Lewis and Ezra Pound's modernism, suffragette Christabel Pankhurst's The Great Scourge and How To End It (1913), and the more nuanced work of Mina Loy. Lyon provides an equally welcome discussion of the French feminist manifesto "Combat pour la liberation de la femme" (1970) and of Monique Wittig's Les Guerrill`eres (Eng. tr. by David Le Vay, 1971), giving Wittig's fierce eloquence, foresight, and lack of feminist sentimentality welcome prominence. A complex, lucid, and nuanced study of the manifesto as the "signature genre" of aesthetic and political militancy, this volume will be indispensable to all college and university collections, upper-division undergraduate through faculty. K. T"ol"olyan; Wesleyan University


Table of Contents

acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction Polemics in the Modern Veinp. 1
1 Manifestoes and Public Spheresp. 9
2 Manifestoes and Revolutionary Discoursep. 46
3 Militant Allies, Strange Bedfellowsp. 92
4 Modernists and Gatekeeping Manifestoes Pound, Loy, and Modern Sanctionsp. 124
5 A Second-Wave Problematic How to Be a Radicalp. 168
Conclusion Now and Againp. 203
Works Citedp. 207
Indexp. 223
acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction Polemics in the Modern Veinp. 1
1 Manifestoes and Public Spheresp. 9
2 Manifestoes and Revolutionary Discoursep. 46
3 Militant Allies, Strange Bedfellowsp. 92
4 Modernists and Gatekeeping Manifestoes Pound, Loy, and Modern Sanctionsp. 124
5 A Second-Wave Problematic How to Be a Radicalp. 168
Conclusion Now and Againp. 203
Works Citedp. 207
Indexp. 223

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