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  • Constellation of Genius

  • By: Kevin Jackson
  • Narrated by: Malk Williams
  • Length: 13 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

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Constellation of Genius

By: Kevin Jackson
Narrated by: Malk Williams
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Summary

Ezra Pound referred to 1922 as year one of a new era. It was the year that began with the publication of James Joyce's Ulysses and ended with the publication of TS Eliot's The Waste Land, two works that were arguably 'the sun and moon' of modernist literature, some would say of modernity itself. 

In Constellation of Genius, Kevin Jackson puts the titanic achievements of Joyce and Eliot in the context of the world in which their works first appeared. As Jackson writes in his introduction, 'On all sides, and in every field, there was a frenzy of innovation.' It is in 1922 that Hitchcock directs his first feature; Kandinsky and Klee join the Bauhaus; the first AM radio station is launched; Walt Disney releases his first animated shorts; and Louis Armstrong takes a train from New Orleans to Chicago, heralding the age of modern jazz. On other fronts, Einstein wins the Nobel Prize in Physics, insulin is introduced to treat diabetes and the tomb of Tutankhamun is discovered. As Jackson writes, the sky was 'blazing with a "constellation of genius" of a kind that had never been known before, and has never since been rivaled'.

Constellation of Genius traces an unforgettable journey through the diaries of the actors, anthropologists, artists, dancers, designers, filmmakers, philosophers, playwrights, politicians and scientists whose lives and works - over the course of 12 months - brought a seismic shift in the way we think, splitting the cultural world in two. Was this a matter of inevitability or of coincidence? That is for the listener of this romp, this hugely entertaining chronicle, to decide.

©2013 Kevin Jackson (P)2020 Audible, Ltd

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Alphabet of key moments in modernism

Polymath Kevin Jackson provides an alphabet of key terms/events/people in modernism. This is a book worth listening/reading to in small chunks as there's a lot to absorb. Makes a nice companion to 'The World Broke in Two' which focuses on 1922 through four key writers: Eliot, Woolfe, Lawrence and Forster.