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By P. Brooker

This unique research discovers the bourgeois within the modernist and the dissenting sort of Bohemia within the new creative hobbies of the 1910s. Brooker sees the bohemian because the instance of the fashionable artist, at odds with yet outlined through the codes of bourgeois society. It renews once again the complexities and radicalism of the modernist challenge.

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In her the novel truly discovers its main character, a ‘new sort of person’ who implies ‘an egoistic code of advanced order, full of insolent strategies’ (99) well beyond the explicit model she has served to critique. Anastasya does not simply resolve the novel’s masculinised polarities, however, certainly not so as to proffer a newly constituted version of the unified indivisible ego. For one thing, her ‘personality’ is a consciously gendered construction and not a ‘universal’ model. ‘Quite used to being looked at, she had become resigned to inability to avoid performing’ (100).

Bourgeois-Bohemians 25 The satirical edge Cournos gives these portraits did not produce a novel of Lewis’s type, nor a form to match the perception of internal and cultural struggle. However, Cournos does, in his account of a GaudierBrzeska character, named Jan Maczishek, describe an art which embraces opposites: ‘the primitive, savage spirit incarnated in mechanics, cruelty with nuance … a Maori spear and the French machine gun’ (346). And there are other correspondences. Gaudier-Brzeska was the bohemian type to Cournos’s steady journalist.

Gosse, O’Shaughnessy and Garnett were members of a generation of English men of letters employed by the British Museum. A. Streatfeild and their associate Sturge Moore. The Museum tearoom and the nearby Vienna Café would also play their part in this story. In fact, therefore, Mallarmé had been introduced to precisely one of those places in London where you could drop in and find a few poets who would put you in touch with a few others. In 1875, the Café Royal was not yet a fashionable meeting place and the Cheshire Cheese in Fleet Street was little known beyond a small literary coterie.

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