Modernism and Melancholia: Writing as Countermourning

Overview

Modernism and melancholia share an intellectual fate: being at once categories, conditions, discourses, modes of expression, and social projects, they feed on their own ambiguity. But modernism and melancholia also share a history: it was in the cultural-historical period we tentatively term "modernism" that a fundamental shift in our understanding of melancholia occurred. What is, then, the relationship between modernism and melancholia? How does it relate to the history of the late nineteenth and early ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $32.30   
  • New (5) from $50.70   
  • Used (2) from $32.30   
Sending request ...

Overview

Modernism and melancholia share an intellectual fate: being at once categories, conditions, discourses, modes of expression, and social projects, they feed on their own ambiguity. But modernism and melancholia also share a history: it was in the cultural-historical period we tentatively term "modernism" that a fundamental shift in our understanding of melancholia occurred. What is, then, the relationship between modernism and melancholia? How does it relate to the history of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century? What is the social value of the associated cluster of symbolic rituals that we call mourning? Modernism and Melancholia addresses these questions, as it focuses on the manifestations of melancholia in modernist fiction internationally.

Paying close attention to writings by Andrei Bely, Franz Kafka, and Virginia Woolf, Sanja Bahun identifies in modernist fiction a deliberate use of the symptomatology of melancholia to reinvigorate the genre of the novel and address the complexities of contemporary history. Such an exercise establishes writing as a mourning ritual that self-consciously refuses to "heal" or "cure." To describe this paradoxical writing practice, Bahun proposes the term "countermourning." Reversing-or renewing-the ways in which the conceptual scope of melancholia is utilized in modernist studies, this study positions itself at the crossroads of literary studies and intellectual history, and suggests a continuity between the shifting view of melancholia in global modernism.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bahun's remarkable book provides the first productive and original application of Freud's concepts of mourning and melancholia to the modernist period. Defining a specifically modernist melancholia, she highlights hitherto unperceived aspects of Bely's, Woolf's and Kafka's works. Bahun shows that their vision of history was haunted by catastrophe, their writing struggling with mourning for what had not yet come to pass, in a fruitful, moving and tense hesitation between two deaths." —Jean-Michel Rabaté, Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania

"Bahun's study revisits the link between modernism and melancholia, rearticulating their coexistence in a fresh and convincing manner and offering in the process an insightful interpretation of three key authors of European modernism. This is a stimulating book that will make a distinct contribution to an important field of enquiry." —Galin Tihanov, George Steiner Professor of Comparative Literature, Queen Mary, University of London

"Sanja Bahun's intellectual tour de force illuminates and puts into dialogue two fiercely contested terms. In this timely interdisciplinary exploration of multiple inflections of melancholia and modernism, she lucidly thinks through the performative modes and historical specificities of both, and distils to a compelling argument on modernist fiction's permuting and virtuoso capacity to engage in the vital political and emotional work of countermourning." —Jane Goldman, Reader in English Literature, University of Glasgow

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199977956
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 11/27/2013
  • Series: Modernist Literature and Culture Series, #21
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sanja Bahun is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies at the University of Essex. She is a co-editor of a number of books, most recently, of Language, Ideology, and the Human: New Interventions and Myth, Literature, and the Unconscious. She serves on the Executive Committee of the British Comparative Literature Association.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Chapter 1: Modernism: The Rise of Countermourning
Chapter 2: Andrei Bely and the Spaces of Historical Melancholia
Chapter 3: "Schloßgeschichten werden erzählt?": Franz Kafka and the Empty Depth of Modernity
Chapter 4: Virginia Woolf and the Search for Historical Patterns
Conclusion: Redescribing the World: Closing Apertures
Bibliography
Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)