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Women Making Modernism$
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Erica Gene Delsandro

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813066172

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813066172.001.0001

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Emma Goldman among the Avant-Garde

Emma Goldman among the Avant-Garde

(p.130) 6 Emma Goldman among the Avant-Garde
Women Making Modernism

Catherine W. Hollis

University Press of Florida

This chapter argues that Emma Goldman’s anarchist feminism is a vital, if under-studied, influence on modernist women’s communities. Despite the generation separating them, Goldman and modernist women, such as Margaret Anderson and Emily Holmes Coleman, were united by their improvised personal lives and pursuit of individual liberty in the realm of art and politics. In the fight against censorship, Goldman’s little magazine Mother Earth was a direct role model for Anderson in her fight to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses in the Little Review; a decade later, Coleman provided Goldman with editorial assistance (and occasional resistance) in the writing of Goldman’s Living My Life. Further, both Anderson and Coleman introduced Goldman to modernist writers like Joyce and Virginia Woolf, challenging Goldman to reconsider her ideas of what counted as revolutionary in the fields of art and literature. Through their aesthetic and political differences, we observe an early example of intergenerational American feminism negotiating influence and relevance. Ultimately, Goldman’s work as an anarchist activist and public speaker, especially her focus on women’s autonomy and freedom, provided the groundwork for the experimental personal lives and networks of support that shaped modernist women’s communities.

Keywords:   Margaret Anderson, Emily Holmes Coleman, American, autonomy, censorship, anarchist, feminism, modernist, little magazine

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