Andrew W. Mellon Undergraduate Fellow in the Humanities
2005—2006 Forum on Word and Image
Women's Studies, Communication
The Grotesque, Grinning Tyro in Wyndham Lewis's Tarr
Wyndham Lewis wrote the novel Tarr while leading the English avant-garde movement in the early 1900s. Within Lewis’s novel, bodies whirl through the text freely against an unstable rational environment. The machine in Tarr generates a dismemberment of the body’s gesturing machine until characters are reduced to a grotesque grin. What does this grin—and the annihilating function of laughter within the novel—mean?