Book launch: Shattered Objects: Djuna Barnes’s Modernism – School of Literature, Art and Media Book launch: Shattered Objects: Djuna Barnes’s Modernism – School of Literature, Art and Media

Book launch: Shattered Objects: Djuna Barnes’s Modernism

Melissa Hardie and Bruce Gardiner will be speaking about Barnes and the book. All are very welcome to join us for the launch and for drinks and refreshments.


About the book:

Shattered Objects: Djuna Barnes’s Modernism is part of the Refiguring Modernism series with Pennsylvania State University Press. It is the first collection of essays on Barnes since 1993. The book responds to recent expansions of literary modernism by reading Barnes’s full oeuvre and her artworks and by considering Barnes and modernism in relation to each other. As well as the editors, the contributors are Daniela Caselli, Bruce Gardiner, Melissa Hardie, Tyrus Miller, Drew Milne, Rachel Potter, Julie Taylor, and Joanne Winning. Peter Nicholls has contributed an afterword.

Barnes wrote in a letter, “there is always more surface to a shattered object than a whole object”: the surfaces of Barnes’s literary and art objects reflect in different ways in the chapters here. Essays consider Barnes’s work in relation to mass media; the promotion, publication, and reception of modernism; modernists as critics; wit; authorship, legitimacy, and genealogy; anachronism; late style; the reception of metaphysical poetry; the queer grotesque; the representation of humans, outcasts, animals, and selves; sovereignty; borders of nation and language; the book as object in film remediations; the affects involved in reading and criticism; and structures of queer community. The introduction surveys the relationship between Barnes criticism and criticism of modernist writing from the early twentieth century to the present, and the afterword reads Barnes’s style against Eliot’s modernism. Shattered Objects introduces a Barnes who is full of possibility for current and future work in the literary critical discourses of the twenty-first century.

Elizabeth Pender teaches at the Centre for English Teaching, University of Sydney and was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of English at Sydney in 2012. She is revising her book, The New Modernist Novel: Literary Criticism and the Task of Reading, in consultation with Edinburgh University Press. Cathryn Setz is an Associate Visiting Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford, and her book Primordial Modernism: Animals, Ideas, transition (1927–1938) is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press in 2019.

Common Room
John Woolley Building (A20)
University of Sydney
Camperdown campus


May 03 2019


5:30 pm - 7:00 pm


Free. Registration not required.


John Woolley Building (A20)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

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