‘Machinic desire’: Wyndham Lewis, masculinity and the sublime horror of technological war

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Abstract

This article explores Wyndham Lewis’s experience of the First World War, and its influence on his varied artistic output. It interrogates how Lewis’s initial ambivalence towards an emergent technological society shifted through direct encounters with mechanized warfare, and speculates on the effect of these upon his post-war writing and criticism. By contrasting Lewis’s thought against that of his Italian Futurist contemporaries, I will demonstrate the centrality of their divergent conceptions of masculinity in accounting for this opposition – and how Lewis’s critique of technological society prefigures contemporary opposition towards the post-humanist philosophy of Accelerationism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)488-514
Number of pages27
JournalModernist Cultures
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov

Keywords

  • Accelerationism
  • Benjamin Noys
  • Futurism
  • Marinetti
  • Nick Land
  • Vorticism
  • Wyndham Lewis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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