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Mina Loy's Critical Modernism$
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Laura Scuriatti

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780813056302

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813056302.001.0001

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Eccentricity, Affiliation, and Distance in Loy’s Corpus

Eccentricity, Affiliation, and Distance in Loy’s Corpus

(p.203) 4 Eccentricity, Affiliation, and Distance in Loy’s Corpus
Mina Loy's Critical Modernism

Laura Scuriatti

University Press of Florida

This chapter explores the notions of eccentricity, cosmopolitanism and belonging, focusing mostly on “Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose”, “Goy Israel” and later poems about New York and the United States. The author here argues that Loy’s corpus creates an eccentric position, similar to the notion of eccentricity theorized by Luisa Muraro and de Lauretis: eccentricity does not imply weirdness or frivolity, but rather a subject’s ability to stay outside the normative order, without either transgressing or conforming to it. The chapter shows that this notion informs not only Loy’s aesthetics and life, but also her reception, and makes the case that Loy’s eccentric stance is also a political position, especially in the last phase of her career. In Loy’s late texts, modernist art seems to celebrate life and democracy, without falling into the traps of nationalism. The “American” poems and prose fragments critically reflect on the dynamics of identity based on geographical location and belonging, and take up marginal gazes, which can accommodate an ever-critical, unsentimental and detached perspective.

Keywords:   Eccentricity, “Anglo-Mongrels and the Rose”, “Goy Israel”, democracy, Muraro, de Lauretis, cosmopolitanism, belonging, identity, geographical location

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