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Book studies 5 modernists whose work on islands made them famous

A book by an Austin Peay State University faculty member was released in July 2006 by McFarland & Company Publishers.

In her new book, Islands and the Modernists: The Allure of Isolation in Art, Literature and Science, Dr. Jill Franks, associate professor of English, examines five modernists in different disciplinesbiology, painting, drama, fiction and anthropologywhose work on islands made them famous. The books back cover reads:
A book by an Austin Peay State University faculty member was released in July 2006 by McFarland & Company Publishers.

In her new book, “Islands and the Modernists: The Allure of Isolation in Art, Literature and Science,” Dr. Jill Franks, associate professor of English, examines five modernists in different disciplinesbiology, painting, drama, fiction and anthropologywhose work on islands made them famous. The book's back cover reads:

“Charles Darwin challenged every presumption of popular science with his theory of evolution by natural selection, derived from his study of the Galapagos Islands. Paul Gauguin found on Tahiti inspiration enough to break through the inhibiting traditions of the Parisian art world. John Millington Synge's experience on the Aran Islands off the coast of Ireland gave birth to a new style of drama that defied classic divisions between tragedy and comedy.

“D. H. Lawrence's life-long search for a utopian community culminated in his famous short story, ‘The Man Who Loved Islands,' that poignantly portrays the tensions between idealism and realism, solitude and human intimacy. Finally, Margaret Mead began her career in anthropology by studying the remote South Sea Islands and through her work acquired the sobriquet ‘Mother of the World.'”

The text explores the extent to which islands inspired these radial thinkers to perform innovative work. Each used islands differently, but similar phenomena affected their choice of place and the outcome of their projects. Their examples illuminate the relationship of modernism to alienation and insularity.

For more information, contact Franks by e-mail at franksj@apsu.edu or jill164@aol.com. -- Dennie B. Burke