chapter  12
‘Architecture or revolution’? Le Corbusier and Wyndham Lewis
Pages 10

An influential intellectual trajectory within the discourses that have mapped the transition from modernity to postmodernity conceives it in terms of a shift from the category of time to that of space, as in Terry Eagleton’s view that, if ‘modernism was haunted by time, postmodernism is obsessed with space’ (Eagleton 1999: 27; and see Jameson 1991: 16). This view has become something of a critical cliché, but the modernist preoccupation with time should not obscure its concern with questions of space, which extended far beyond an interest in the architectonics of style or the spatialization of form. This concern is present in T. E. Hulme’s negotiation of Worringer’s space-driven aesthetics; in Gaudier-Brzeska’s conviction that sculpture and architecture are one art; in Pound’s obsession with metropolitan disorder and the restructuring of Europe; in the multiple mappings of urban space in the work of writers such as Döblin, Ford, Richardson, Rhys and Woolf; and, of course, in the external view of art deployed by Wyndham Lewis to combat various forms of subjectivist and/or Bergson-inspired, flux-driven aesthetics. To recognize that space was a key feature of modernist thought is not to negate temporality or to dissolve history, but is rather to reconfigure time and memory by situating them in relation to representations of space in determinate conjunctures.1 The binary that equates modernism with time and postmodernism with space should not be reversed but done away with, to be replaced by something more akin to Benjamin’s notion of the constellation.