'Marvellous appearances': Frank O'Hara and the monuments of Hollywood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter addresses different treatments of, and responses to, the monument in modernist literature, by comparing the handling of three equestrian statues in works by Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and Frank O'Hara. These three examples are used to explore a process of remembering and forgetting in relation to commemorative statues to suggest how, over the period of time these instances map, commemorative public art loses its power to commemorate through public forgetfulness and through a post-World-War II rejection of the rhetoric of heroism. In O'Hara's work (in contrast to Robert Lowell's), this devaluation of monuments becomes part of a celebration of the fluid, the ephemeral and the passing, as exemplified through his engagement with film.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMonument et Modernite dans l'art et la litterature britanniques et americains
EditorsMarc Poree, Christine Savinel
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherPresses Sorbonne Nouvelle
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)978-287854-626-2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Frank O'Hara
  • Joseph Conrad
  • Henry James
  • Robert Lowell
  • monuments
  • public art
  • equestrian statues
  • American Civil War
  • remembering
  • forgetting
  • cultural amnesia
  • collective memory
  • Hollywood
  • the movies

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