[Msa-discuss] Artificial Light in Modernist Literature

shel veenstra shel.veenstra at gmail.com
Wed Oct 19 18:00:18 EDT 2011

Gertrude Stein describes the unsettling experience of seeing her own
name in lights on Broadway in _Everybody's Autobiography_.

You might also consider accounts of the World's Fair/Paris Universal
Exposition of 1900, which celebrated artificial light as a new and
fascinating phenomenon with such attractions as the Palace of
Electricity.  Burton Holmes's published travelogue on the Paris Expo
ends with a riveting reflection on the new city of lights:

"We stand upon the threshold of the Age of Electricity – the Age of
Light.  The Universal Exposition of Paris commemorates the close of
the nineteenth century, the Age of Steam.  And as we look by night
upon the Wonder-City of 1900, we see the Eiffel Tower, ablaze with
electrical incandescence, pointing like a prophetic finger toward a
radiant future — a future in which the Light of Science and the Light
of Knowledge shall be universal — a future which shall have no
darkness upon the earth, nor shadows in the lives of men."

Michelle Veenstra
Assistant Professor of English
Francis Marion University

On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 3:38 PM, Stephen Pasqualina <spasqual at usc.edu> wrote:
> Could anyone suggest examples from modernist writers—essays, novels, plays,
> poems, or even letters—in which artificial light figures prominently?
> Many thanks,
> Stephen
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Michelle Veenstra, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
Francis Marion University

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