Ford Madox Ford’s Cosmopolis: Psycho-geography, Flânerie and the Cultures of Paris
Edited by Alexandra Becquet, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3 and Claire Davison, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3
The controversial British writer Ford Madox Ford (1873–1939) is increasingly recognized as a major presence in early twentieth-century literature. This series of International Ford Madox Ford Studies was founded to reflect the recent resurgence of interest in him. Each volume is based upon a particular theme, issue, or work; and relates aspects of Ford’s writing, life, and contacts, to broader concerns of his time.
Ford is best-known for his fiction, especially The Good Soldier, long considered a modernist masterpiece; and Parade’s End, which Anthony Burgess described as ‘the finest novel about the First World War’, Samuel Hynes has called ‘the greatest war novel ever written by an Englishman’, and which was adapted by Tom Stoppard for the acclaimed 2012 BBC/HBO television series, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall.
The twelve essays in this volume, Ford Madox Ford’s Cosmopolis, focus directly on the internationalism so important to Ford, and bring out three main ideas. First, his lifelong commitment to an international vision of literature and culture. Second, ‘Cosmopolis’ also refers to Ford’s experiences of the particular cosmopolitan cities he lived in: London, Paris, New York. Third, the idea that his lifelong experience of Paris in particular informed and shaped his writing. Ford’s Cosmopolis is thus not only an ideal city or state open to such cosmopolitan exchange. It is also a mode of writing which invents forms and styles to render the experience of such hybridity, diversity, fluidity, and tolerance.
Contributors are: Alexandra Becquet, Helen Chambers, Martina Ciceri, Laurence Davies, Claire Davison, Annalisa Federici, Georges Létissier, Caroline Patey, Andrea Rummel, Max Saunders, Rob Spence, Martin Stannard, George Wickes, Joseph Wiesenfarth.