Laura Marcus is one of the leading literary critics of modernist literature and culture. Dreams of Modernity: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Cinema covers the period from around 1880 to 1930, when modernity as a form of social and cultural life fed into the beginnings of modernism as a cultural form. Railways, cinema, psychoanalysis and the literature of detection - and their impact on modern sensibility - are four of the chief subjects explored. Marcus also stresses the creativity of modernist women writers, including H. D., Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf. The overriding themes of this work bear on the understanding of the early twentieth century as a transitional age, thus raising the question of how 'the moderns' understood the conditions of their own modernity.
Laura Marcus is Goldsmiths' Professor of English at the University of Oxford, where she is a Fellow of New College. She is the author of Auto/biographical Discourses: Theory, Criticism, Practice; Virginia Woolf: Writers and their Works and The Tenth Muse: Writing about Cinema in the Modernist Period. She has also co-edited Close Up, 1927-1933: Cinema and Modernism and The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century English Literature.
1. The lodger; 2. Oedipus express: psychoanalysis and the railways; 3. Railway reading; 4. 'From autumn to spring, aesthetics change': modernity's visual displays; 5. 'A hymn to the movement': the 'city symphony' of the 1920s and 1930s; 6. Staging the 'private theatre': gender and the auto-erotics of reverie; 7. The new biography; 8. European witness: analysands abroad in the 1920s and 1930s; 9. Dreaming and the cinematographic consciousness; 10. Directed dreaming: Dorothy Richardson's Pilgrimage and the space of dreams; 11. 'In the circle of the lens': Woolf's 'telescopic' story, scene making and memory; 12. Virginia Woolf and the art of the novel.