I’m Adam Hammond, a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria. This year I will be working with the Modernist Versions Project to produce TEI editions of the 1918 and 1928 versions of Wyndham Lewis’s Tarr. I did my graduate work at the University of Toronto. My dissertation, “Nineteen Thirty-Four: Generic Hybridity and the Search for a Democratic Aesthetic” (supervised by Melba Cuddy-Keane), began from a question: Why did three major modernist writers, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and Wyndham Lewis, all decide to write in new genres for the first time in a twelve-month period beginning in December 1933? Looking at contemporary debates about the ethics and ideology of genre by writers and theorists such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Erich Auerbach, Stephen Spender, and W.H. Auden—and relating their generic theory and practice to the historical contexts of Stalinism in the USSR and Fascism in Germany—I argue that Woolf, Eliot, and Lewis, though very different writers, were each interested in producing generically hybrid works as a means of promoting the active involvement and independent engagement of their readers, and thereby intervening in their political moment.
My postdoctoral project, “The Case Against Roots: Modernist Internationalism After Modernism” (supervised by Stephen Ross), follows three figures central to my dissertation—Lewis, Auerbach, and Auden—into the post-WWII period, when each moved to North America, and each became a passionate adherent of internationalism. My project focuses on the legacy of these writers’ idea of “rootless” internationalism, looking specifically at Lewis’s influence on Marshall McLuhan, Auerbach’s influence on Edward Said, and Auden’s influence on Owen Dodson and Robert Hayden.
I have previously worked with TEI in leading “He Do the Police in Different Voices”, a project for exploring voices in T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land that I developed with the TAs and students of “The Digital Text”, the course I teach at the University of Toronto. I am currently working on a project entitled “The Brown Stocking,” which aims to explore the complexities of voice in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse by tagging its use of free indirect discourse.
In addition to writing on Lewis in my dissertation, I published an article on Lewis’s relationship with Canada in The Walrus in 2010. My chapter, “Excellent Internationalists: How Canada Influenced Wyndham Lewis, and How Marshall McLuhan and Sheila Watson Turned Wyndham Lewis Into an Influence,” forthcoming in the volume In Search of Annihilated Time (eds. Paul Hjartarson, Gregory Betts, and Kristine Smitka; University of Alberta Press, 2014), explores Lewis’s complex relationship with Canada in greater detail, arguing that Lewis exerted his influence on Canadian society only because writers like McLuhan and Watson so thoroughly adapted and reimagined his ideas.
In my next post, I will outline the aims and approach of the Tarr versioning project.