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Re-gendering Smart Classicism: Franklin P. Adams, Dorothy Parker, and the Middlebrow Classical Verse Revival

Re-gendering Smart Classicism: Franklin P. Adams, Dorothy Parker, and the Middlebrow Classical... This essay analyses a strain of modern classicism other than the high modernist classicism of Hulme, Pound, and Eliot. Its practitioners were middlebrow writers associated with the newspaper columns and ‘smart magazines’ thriving in New York City during the 1910s and 1920s. Led by the columnist, popular poet, and Algonquin Round Table fixture, Franklin P. Adams, ‘smart classicism’ took its inspiration from ancient Rome's elegists, satirists, and epigrammatists. Adams's smart classicist poems complicate current accounts of early twentieth-century American poetry, of modern(ist) classicism, and of the literary legacy of the smart writers and the Round Table. Dorothy Parker's poetic rejoinders to smart classicism re-gender the masculinist speakers and attitudes of Adams's light verse – and the verse of the ancient poets he emulates and translates. This contextualisation clarifies neglected aspects of Parker's poetic achievements: her erudition, critiques of literary gender politics ancient and modern, and role in articulating a female counterpart to the smart magazines’ suffering Little Man figure. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Re-gendering Smart Classicism: Franklin P. Adams, Dorothy Parker, and the Middlebrow Classical Verse Revival

Modernist Cultures , Volume 17 (2): 25 – May 1, 2022

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2022.0369
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This essay analyses a strain of modern classicism other than the high modernist classicism of Hulme, Pound, and Eliot. Its practitioners were middlebrow writers associated with the newspaper columns and ‘smart magazines’ thriving in New York City during the 1910s and 1920s. Led by the columnist, popular poet, and Algonquin Round Table fixture, Franklin P. Adams, ‘smart classicism’ took its inspiration from ancient Rome's elegists, satirists, and epigrammatists. Adams's smart classicist poems complicate current accounts of early twentieth-century American poetry, of modern(ist) classicism, and of the literary legacy of the smart writers and the Round Table. Dorothy Parker's poetic rejoinders to smart classicism re-gender the masculinist speakers and attitudes of Adams's light verse – and the verse of the ancient poets he emulates and translates. This contextualisation clarifies neglected aspects of Parker's poetic achievements: her erudition, critiques of literary gender politics ancient and modern, and role in articulating a female counterpart to the smart magazines’ suffering Little Man figure.

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: May 1, 2022

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