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Hardcover | Out of Print | ISBN: 9780262025805 | 390 pp. | 8 x 9 in | 82 illus.| October 2005
Paperback | $48.00 Short | £35.95 | ISBN: 9780262524889 | 390 pp. | 8 x 9 in | 82 illus.| February 2008

An American Lens

Scenes from Alfred Stieglitz's New York Secession

About the Author

Jay Bochner is Professor of English at the University of Montreal.

Reviews

“"I'm sure Bochner is a fine scholar and critic, but he also has that indispensable talent of storytellers: he gets us interested in what fascinates him through what he chooses to describe and narrate. So out of this collection of anecdotes, observations, critiques, forgotten or obscure historical moments that seem formed as responses to unknown interlocutors, emerges an entertaining book and, by the way, an absorbing and gallant portrait of the life and times and undervalued accomplishments of Alfred Stieglitz." William Kowinski”—
“"This is a multilayered study that sheds light on contemporary critical analysis as well as on the birth of modernism." R. K. Dickson The Bloomsbury Review”—
“"[Bochner] gives us effusiveness backed by keen research and seasoned looking.... [U]ltimately, the book is a return to an 'expressive' form of scholarly writing. It may even be a bellwether of a revival of the monograph." Susan Elizabeth Ryan Bookforum”—
“"I'm sure Bochner is a fine scholar and critic, but he also hasthat indispensable talent of storytellers: he gets us interested inwhat fascinates him through what he chooses to describe and narrate.So out of this collection of anecdotes, observations, critiques,forgotten or obscure historical moments that seem formed asresponses to unknown interlocutors, emerges an entertaining bookand, by the way, an absorbing and gallant portrait of the life andtimes and undervalued accomplishments of Alfred Stieglitz." William Kowinski”—

Endorsements

“"Bochner's study of Alfred Stieglitz and American modernism demonstrates intellectual intensity, cultural sensitivity, and archival rigor. In this richly detailed and often poetic account Bochner examines the cultural significance of key modernist exhibitions as both historical events and aesthetic formats, which he views 'through the lens' of the series, the fragment, and the unprecedented 'life force' that collectively characterize Stieglitz's vision of Secessionist modernism. The author's unique approach to the subject matter, the depth of his thinking, and the intensity of his focus make this book unlike anything else in the extant scholarly or popular literature."--Marcia Brennan, Associate Professor, Department of Art History, Rice University”
“How did the avant-garde of the New York Secession, the movement spearheaded by the brilliant photographer, editor, gallery director, and impresario Alfred Stieglitz, look to its own practitioners and their audiences? Jay Bochner's fascinating and lavishly illustrated documentary study casts its 'American lens' on key scenes when modernist poets and visual artists from Williams and Stein to O'Keefe and Stieglitz himself were changing our cultural and aesthetic landscape. The appraisal of the Stieglitz circlethat emerges is as surprising as it is absorbing. A great read!”
Marjorie Perloff, author of *Wittgenstein's Ladder: Poetic Language and the Strangeness of the Ordinary
“This study of the importance of Stieglitz to the avant-garde in America is nothing short of brilliant. Somehow Jay Bochner has managed to interweave photography art literature and economic history into a whole at once convincing highly intelligent and intensely readable. I didn’t want it to end.”
Mary Ann Caws, Distinguished Professor of English French and Comparative Literature Graduate Center City University of New York
“"An impressively researched biography about the most startling Dada woman personality ever to explode on the avant-garde scene in New York, Philadelphia, Berlin, and Paris, this book offers a new and invaluable perspective on several sides of that scene. The strong odor of scandal, far removed from many watered-down emulations of it, permeates every page. Crossing every erotic boundary, this Dada-gothic phenomenon called the Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven lived the heartbreaking existence of a woman more than on the edge."--Mary Ann Caws, Distinguished Professor of English, French, and Comparative Literature, Graduate Center, City University of New York”