I am excited, and deeply honored, to be a Marty Center Junior Fellow. My research interests include religion and twentieth-century literature; Anglo-American and continental European modernism and the avant-garde; and fascism, totalitarianism, and political religions. My dissertation reconsiders the convergence of these three thematics through the figure of the unjustly neglected poet and dramatist Robinson Jeffers (1887-1962). It focuses on the ways in which Jeffers's writings make use of one of the fundamental structures of religion -- myth -- as well as the ways in which the function of myth in Jeffers's work both reflects and inflects the use of this basic "building block" of religion in the works of his better-known modernist contemporaries. In so doing I hope to complicate, and at the same time to clarify, the correlation between literary modernism and fascist or totalitarian ideology which, as the critic Frank Kermode once observed, "is more often noticed than explained." I eagerly look forward to taking part in the robust, cross-disciplinary dialogue which the Marty Seminar promises to foster as I bring this project toward its completion.
Brett Daniel Colasacco