Repositioning the Representation of Femininity in H. D.'s "Garden"

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Karabulut T.

International Modernism and Postmodernism Studies Conference 2021, Erzurum, Turkey, 02 September 2021, pp.23-24


The British poet and artist Mina Loy holds an exceptional place in the art and literature of the avant-garde and enlightens the dawn of the Modernist era in the early twentieth century. Loy’s poetry is innovative with its unusual and idiosyncratic fragmentary style and shifting narrative voices, while her artworks are unique, maintaining an eclectic approach associated with the canonical artistic movements of her age, such as Futurism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism. Her creative visual and literary output problematizes the conventions of that time by both opposing and reconciling with them. Loy’s manifesto-poem, “Aphorisms on Futurism” (1914), intertextually connects the significations in each aphorism with one another and with her other textual and artistic works. The text creates the chains of signification to reveal the dialogical rhetoric as well as the evolutionary nature of the narrative voice manoeuvring between Futurism and Modernism in relation both to herself and the implied readers. Loy’s persona argues for destroying the traditional language forms and proclaims a new form, which is representative of Futurist poetry, by subverting the retrospective ones and constructing new ones. Within this framework, Loy’s untitled 1951 New York painting seems to represent the destruction of the traditional art forms to celebrate the concepts of dynamism and deformation, which evokes the features of Futurist, Dadaist, and Cubist aesthetics. In this experimental poem, the arguments of Loy’s fictive persona, through shifting between Futurism and Modernism, create complex intertextuality between the aphorisms and the narrator’s shifting voices. The arguments of the narrative voice illuminate the narrator’s Futurist-Modernist project by inviting both herself and the readers to attain the individual consciousness and liberation through a metamorphic journey from being a Futurist to a Modernist.