Part of the “Women in Literature I” panel at PAMLA’s 117th annual conference taking place at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside beginning on Thursday, November 14 and ending on Sunday, November 17.
Since Shari Benstock’s field-opening work in the 1980s around the “Women of the Left Bank,” we have understood the importance to modernism of the non-cis-male cohorts of the lost generation and why they were downplayed in favor of the men of modernism. Now, forty years later, although the women of Paris and Bloomsbury are better known, there remain important archives not fully analyzed. My paper compares the correspondence, activities, and interests of two modernist women (Marta Feuchtwanger and Maria Nys Huxley) separated from home by the rise of fascism and Nazism, and poses important questions such as how did women of the avant-garde evolve politically and artistically through the decades between and after the world wars? What did they correspond with each other about across these frontiers? How did they write and produce other expressive creative work about the ideologies of the time and their identities as exilic public intellectuals? The larger project this comes from carries on my existing interests in how modern displaced and mobile collectivities cohere, flourish and coexist. This paper asks how modernist women in exile are separated from dominant notions of home, acculturation, cosmopolitanism, and emplacement.