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Impossible ModernismT. S. Eliot, Walter Benjamin, and the Critique of Historical Reason$
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Robert S. Lehman

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780804799041

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804799041.001.0001

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The Lightning Flash and the Storm of Progress

The Lightning Flash and the Storm of Progress

(p.191) Conclusion The Lightning Flash and the Storm of Progress
Impossible Modernism

Robert S. Lehman

Stanford University Press

Impossible Modernism concludes with a short discussion of two figures: the flash of lightning that cuts across the desert scene in the last section of The Waste Land and the “storm of progress” that blows through the ninth thesis “On the Concept of History.” These images, it is maintained, in their attempt to present together tradition, on the one hand, and event, on the other, bring to the fore modernism’s paradoxical historical imagination, and the relevance of this imagination to our contemporary aesthetic and political concerns.

Keywords:   T. S. Eliot, Walter Benjamin, Historicism, Poetics, Rhetoric

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