Event Title

Manhattan Transference: Reader Itineraries in Modernist New York

Presenter Information

Sophia Bamert, Oberlin College

Location

Science Center, A255

Document Type

Presentation

Start Date

4-26-2013 2:45 PM

End Date

4-26-2013 3:45 PM

Abstract

John Dos Passos’s Manhattan Transfer (1925) follows dozens of characters through modern New York City. The novel is organized as a fragmented montage and, in this project, I argue that transit functions as both a central theme and the structuring principle of the text. I compare Manhattan Transfer to works by Walt Whitman and William Dean Howells and draw upon spatial form theory to examine how experiences of urban transportation influence literary forms. Ultimately, I suggest that Manhattan Transfer’s modernist form offers readers itinerant ways of perceiving the complicated networks of which cities are made.

Notes

Session II, Panel 9: Determinant Spaces in the Politics of Culture: Reflections from Japan, New York, and Jamaica
Moderator: Gillian Johns, Associate Professor of English

Link to full text thesis at OhioLINK ETD Center:
http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=oberlin1368801113

Major

English; Environmental Studies

Advisor(s)

T.S. McMillin, English; Environmental Studies

Project Mentor(s)

T.S. McMillin, English; Environmental Studies

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Apr 26th, 2:45 PM Apr 26th, 3:45 PM

Manhattan Transference: Reader Itineraries in Modernist New York

Science Center, A255

John Dos Passos’s Manhattan Transfer (1925) follows dozens of characters through modern New York City. The novel is organized as a fragmented montage and, in this project, I argue that transit functions as both a central theme and the structuring principle of the text. I compare Manhattan Transfer to works by Walt Whitman and William Dean Howells and draw upon spatial form theory to examine how experiences of urban transportation influence literary forms. Ultimately, I suggest that Manhattan Transfer’s modernist form offers readers itinerant ways of perceiving the complicated networks of which cities are made.