By Steve Pinkerton

Scholars have lengthy defined modernism as "heretical" or "iconoclastic" in its attacks on secular traditions of shape, style, and decorum. but critics have paid strangely little recognition to the comparable class of blasphemy--the rhetoric of non secular offense--and to the explicit methods this rhetoric operates in, and as, literary modernism. United by means of a shared dedication to "the be aware made flesh," writers equivalent to James Joyce, Mina Loy, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Djuna Barnes made blasphemy a key element of their modernist perform, profaning the very scriptures and sacraments that fueled their paintings. In doing in order that they belied T. S. Eliot's verdict that the forces of secularization had rendered blasphemy out of date in an more and more godless century ("a global within which blasphemy is impossible"); their decided irreverence unearths, sarcastically, the level to which faith persevered as a cultural strength after the dying of God. extra, their transgressions highlight a politics of faith that has seldom engaged the eye of modernist reports. Blasphemy respects no department of church and country, and neither do the writers who wield it to profane all demeanour of coercive dogmas--including ecclesiastical in addition to extra worldly ideologies of race, type, state, empire, gender, and sexuality. The late-century instance of Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses provides, eventually, an indication of the way modernism persists in postwar anglophone literature and of the severe position blasphemy performs in that endurance. Blasphemous Modernism therefore resonates with the wider cultural and ideological issues that during fresh years have enriched the scope of modernist scholarship.

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