Words Like Fire
Prophecy and Apocalypse in Apollinaire, Marinetti and Pound

James P. Leveque

Studies In Comparative Literature 50

Legenda

28 April 2022  •  234pp

ISBN: 978-1-781884-43-0 (hardback)  •  RRP £85, $115, €99

ISBN: 978-1-781884-44-7 (paperback, forthcoming)

ISBN: 978-1-781884-47-8 (JSTOR ebook)

Access online: Books@JSTOR

ModernFrenchItalianEnglishFictionPoetry


The avant-garde in the early-twentieth century planted its flag on the ruins of the day’s pieties, with religion a particularly urgent target. Movements such as Futurism, Dada, and Surrealism often represented religion in blasphemous, prurient, or sacrilegious ways: but the invocation of spirituality and scripture were also indispensable to their transcendent, revelatory experience. Examining the contemporaneous, and cross-national, careers in poetry and artistic propaganda of Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918), F. T. Marinetti (1876-1944), and Ezra Pound (1885-1972), Leveque frames the early avant-garde as an attempt to rediscover the necessity of prophecy and apocalyptic thought. By engaging common themes of spiritual orientation, religion furnished a sense of legitimacy or distinction for writers presenting themselves as preachers of the End Times, or visionaries of 'new heavens and a new earth.'

James Leveque is a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Advanced Study of the Humanities, University of Edinburgh.

Reviews:

  • ‘This book is a welcome contribution to avant-garde studies in Europe and North America... Devoted primarily to poetry, it examines the early literary activities of three giants who helped shape our response to the twentieth century: Guillaume Apollinaire in France, F. T. Marinetti in Italy, and Ezra Pound in England and America. To my knowledge, this is the only book-length study of all three poets, each of whom—officially or unofficially—headed a major literary movement.’ — Willard Bohn, Modern Language Review 118.4, October 2023, 587-89 (full text online)

For a contents listing, see this volume at JSTOR.

Bibliography entry:

Leveque, James P., Words Like Fire: Prophecy and Apocalypse in Apollinaire, Marinetti and Pound, Studies In Comparative Literature, 50 (Legenda, 2022)

First footnote reference: 35 James P. Leveque, Words Like Fire: Prophecy and Apocalypse in Apollinaire, Marinetti and Pound, Studies In Comparative Literature, 50 (Legenda, 2022), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Leveque, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Leveque, James P.. 2022. Words Like Fire: Prophecy and Apocalypse in Apollinaire, Marinetti and Pound, Studies In Comparative Literature, 50 (Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Leveque 2022: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Leveque 2022: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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