Establishing Edith Sitwell at the center of British modernism, this volume showcases her many achievements in poetry, autobiography, novel writing, criticism, art, and performance. Forgoing the gossip about her eccentric appearance and self-fashioned persona that has too often overshadowed serious writing about her work, the contributors explore how Sitwell combined persona and poetry to foster an outpouring of iconoclastic creativity.
The Many Facades of Edith Sitwell argues that Sitwell was key to the development of a British avant-garde that operated alongside the conventionally accepted transatlantic modernism of Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot. With Sitwell as an influential literary player and social architect, the British interwar arts scene was not an ascetic escape from personality--as the modernism of Pound and Eliot has often been characterized--but an alternative space of flamboyant, extravagant, and ornate performance.
"A fascinating book that takes us deep into Edith Sitwell's world of artifice, disguise, high camp, and verbal ingenuity. In these essays, Sitwell emerges as a central figure in an alternative avant-garde in early twentieth-century Britain."--Faye Hammill, author of
Sophistication: A Literary and Cultural History