Wyndham Lewis’s Critique of Modernist Form as Judaization in Time and Western Man
This chapter examines the notion of Judaization in English-language modernism. In his 1927 magnum opus Time and Western Man the English modernist writer and painter Wyndham Lewis insinuates that the modernism disseminated by such figures as Bergson, Freud, Proust, and Stein bears significantly Jewish traits, and that the modernism of James Joyce, because it reflects the influence of these figures, should be regarded as a Judaized modernism. Lewis' argument builds upon a revision of Nietzsche's account of the putatively Jewish roots of modern populist and democratic political movements. It is shown that Lewis reads Nietzsche through the lens of what Gil Anidjar calls the Semitic hypothesis, in which what could be said about Jews could also be said about Arabs and vice versa. For Lewis, the truth about the Jews—and the culture they impose upon the West—stands revealed in the figure of the Muslim fanatic. Lewis regards the modernist form he critiques not simply as a symptom of a cultural change that leads to fanaticism but as itself the means of the production of the fanatical subject.
Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.