Modern Lives: A Cultural Re-Reading of "The Lost Generation"

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Purdue University Press


Written with the general Americanist rather than the theoretical specialist in mind, Modern Lives traces the development of the idea of "the lost generation" and reinterprets it in light of more recent versions of the American ig2os. 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