Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Title

The Review of English Studies







Publisher Name

Oxford University Press

Publisher Location

Oxford, UK


Diepeveen has spent a considerable part of his career chasing after the tricky concept of intent, how authors or works signal it, and how interpretive communities respond to it. With his most recent book, he has brought a systematician’s rigour to the question of how modernism addresses, offends, or accounts for its various audiences. One of the most engaging elements of Modernist Fraud is how Diepeveen rescues authorial intention from the New Critical and Barthesian dustbins, revealing its centrality in the evaluation and understanding of art, in spite of its unpindownable nature. The paradox of intent is that its ‘evidentiary weakness’ coexists with its ‘stubbornly large presence’ (p. 98). As we cannot extricate ourselves from the philosophical and aesthetic muddiness of intent, Diepeveen suggests, we might as well get comfortable with it.


Author Posting © Oxford University Press, 2019. This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in The Review of English Studies following peer review. The version of record (The Review of English Studies, Volume 71, Issue 300, Pages 601-604, December 2019) is available online at:

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.