Sara Haslam
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‘These fragments I have shored against my ruins’

The enriching and rewarding aspects of modernism (such as myth and self-discovery), as presented in Ford Madox Ford's positive fictions, were the subject of the previous two chapters. This chapter examines which aspects of modernism are manifested in Ford's faith in the act of writing itself – the regenerative or the terrible – and considers Ford's creative dynamic, his techniques and his literary rules for the writing of prose. Using a range of Ford's writing, it addresses the question of which aspects of modernism ultimately hold sway in Ford's oeuvre. The chapter also analyses Ford's theoretical, modernist stances and considers impressionism as well as Ford's position in the modernist subjectivity versus objectivity debate. Concluding with an analysis of memory and its role in the modernist quest, it also returns the book to its beginnings, and a writer who believed in pictures of the past, and the present, and sought to write them, however difficult.

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Fragmenting modernism

Ford Madox Ford, the novel and the Great War


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