‘A serious place’: Wyndham Lewis, Tarr, and the Café

Journal article


Betsworth, LG (2016). ‘A serious place’: Wyndham Lewis, Tarr, and the Café. Textual Practice. 31 (4), pp. 725-746.
AuthorsBetsworth, LG
Abstract

This article explores the significance of the café in Wyndham Lewis’s first published novel, Tarr (1918). Charting the importance of the space upon Lewis’s formative life as a student in Europe and later among his literary peers, it proposes that Lewis has an idealised conception of the café, which stems from the legacy of the coffeehouses of the seventeenth and eighteenth century and the Russian tavern from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov (1880). By comparing these ideals against the contemporary milieu in which Lewis found himself, we gain greater insight into the rhetorical intentions for the novel, such as the assault on bourgeois-bohemian café culture, as well as ultimately discovering that Lewis’s conception of the café has a fundamental role in the construction and form of the novel itself.

KeywordsModernist Literature; Café Society; Bourgeois-bohemia; Space and Place; 2005 Literary Studies; Literary Studies
Year2016
JournalTextual Practice
Journal citation31 (4), pp. 725-746
PublisherRoutledge
ISSN0950-236X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/0950236X.2016.1189456.
Publication dates
Print08 Jul 2016
Publication process dates
Deposited16 Apr 2018
Accepted24 Mar 2015
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/87346

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