The Modernist roman à clef and Cultural Secrets, or, I Know that You Know that I Know that You Know
'The roman à clef dangerously teased the conventions of realism, flaunting its elitism and the need for a knowing reader. As a genre, it seemed to offer a 'key' to determining individuals and their value within a coterie. Yet, as this essay demonstrates, there were also ambiguities of identification and secrets only guessed at, even by their projected readership. The modernist roman à clef would gain resonance through its allusion to the paradoxic experimentalism and tradition of the roman à clef genre; the hierarchical aesthetic subculture that generated its production; and cultural secrecy surrounding non-normative sexuality circulating within that community.'
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Published 1 November 2009 in Manifesting Australian Literary Feminisms: Nexus and Faultlines. Subjects: Feminism, Modernism.
Cite as: Boyde, Melissa. ‘The Modernist roman à clef and Cultural Secrets, or, I Know that You Know that I Know that You Know.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 24, no. 3-4, 2009, doi: 10.20314/als.dfae519805.