A Curious Peril
H.D.’s Late Modernist Prose

Lara Vetter

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Choice Outstanding Academic Title
“Exquisitely researched.”—Modern Language Review  
“An exemplary scholarly work: exceptionally well researched, consistently smart, accessible. . . . Essential.”—Choice
“Offers a fascinating and thorough analysis of the chosen texts, grounding them not only in the context of H.D.’s own experiences and recognizing the trauma of two World Wars but also in the context of post-war Europe.”—Forum for Modern Language Studies
“Thoroughly accounts for the modernist’s overlooked late-career prose.”—Tulsa Studies in Women’s Literature
“Vetter’s book stands as an important corrective to accounts of H.D. as ethereal and disconnected. She shows, carefully and persuasively, that H.D.’s engagement with politics was not merely the interest of a woman who happened to live through some seismic shifts in political and national history, but that H.D. was engaged to the extent of the imaginative construction of possible social and political futures.”—Review of English Studies
"Demonstrating how literary aspects of H.D.'s late prose contribute to politically attuned cultural work, Vetter astutely counters longstanding claims about H.D.'s 'escapism.'"--Miranda Hickman, author of The Geometry of Modernism
"An important, meticulously researched treatment of H.D.'s post-WWII writing that helps us understand her multiple genre-bending and time-warping moves."--Madelyn Detloff, author of The Value of Virginia Woolf

A Curious Peril examines the prose penned by modernist writer H.D. in the aftermath of World War II, a little-known body of work that has been neglected by scholars, and argues that the trauma H.D. experienced in London during the war profoundly changed her writing. Lara Vetter reveals a shift in these writings from classical "escapist" settings to politically aware explorations of gender, spirituality, nation, and imperialism.
Impelled by the shocking political crises of the early 1940s, and increasingly sensitive to imperialist logics, H.D. began to write about the history of modern Europe using innovative forms and genres. She directed her well-known interest in mysticism and otherworldly themes toward the material world of empire-building and perpetual war. Vetter contends that H.D.'s postwar work is essential to understanding the writer's entire career, marking her entrance into late modernism and even foretelling crucial aspects of postmodernism.
Lara Vetter, professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is the editor of H.D.'s By Avon River and the author of Modernist Writings and Religio-scientific Discourse: H.D., Loy, and Toomer.
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Choice Outstanding Academic Title - 2017

An exemplary scholarly work: exceptionally well researched, consistently smart, accessible. . . . Essential.

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