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At the Mercy of Their ClothesModernism, the Middlebrow, and British Garment Culture$
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Celia Marshik

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231175043

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231175043.001.0001

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Serialized Selves

Serialized Selves

Style, Identity, and the Problem of the Used Garment

(p.145) 4 Serialized Selves
At the Mercy of Their Clothes

Celia Marshik

Columbia University Press

Takes up secondhand clothes, the trade in which picked up between the wars as individuals who had formerly purchased new attire saw their earnings drop. Both middlebrow and modernist fiction suggests that secondhand clothing can distribute aspects of the original owner's persona, but only modernist work depicts such distribution as imprinting successive owners with an alien personality. I argue that this difference maps onto attitudes toward the artist, with writers who base characters on modern artists equating secondhand clothes with secondhand style.

Keywords:   Secondhand, cast-off, distributed person, new poor, serialization, Joyce

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