Modernism, Narrative and Humanism

Overview

Paul Sheehan attempts to redefine Modernist narrative for the twenty-first century. According to Sheehan, Modernism presents a major form of critique of the fundamental presumptions of humanism. By pairing key Modernist writers with philosophical critics of the humanist tradition, he shows how Modernists sought to discover humanism's inhuman potential. He reveals the crucial link between the Modernist novel's narrative concerns and its philosophical orientation in a book that will be of interest to scholars of ...

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Overview

Paul Sheehan attempts to redefine Modernist narrative for the twenty-first century. According to Sheehan, Modernism presents a major form of critique of the fundamental presumptions of humanism. By pairing key Modernist writers with philosophical critics of the humanist tradition, he shows how Modernists sought to discover humanism's inhuman potential. He reveals the crucial link between the Modernist novel's narrative concerns and its philosophical orientation in a book that will be of interest to scholars of Modernism and literary theory.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"... a brilliant study that sheds considerable light on the antihumanist and counterhumanist tendencies in literature, philosophy, and critical theory over the past 150 years." Modern Fiction Studies

"...very interesting and persuasive..." Modern Philology

Booknews
Identifying a fundamental shift between 1850 and 1950, a turning away from the human as a given towards the human as a problem, the author examines how English language novelists grappled with the unmooring of humanism. He relates the writings of Conrad, Beckett, Woolf, and Lawrence to the philosophies of Darwin, Nietzsche, and Schopenhauer, investigating their varying valuations of the human. The writers' use of narrative form is identified as being central to their contribution to an antihumanist discourse. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521099127
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Sheehan is a Sydney-based writer and researcher. He studied at Birkbeck College, London, and has published articles on Dickens and Beckett.

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Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; Introduction: The anthropometric turn; 1. Narrating the animal, amputating the soul; 2. Conrad and technology: homo-ex-machina; 3. The Lawrentian transcendent: after the fall; 4. Woolf's luminance: time out of mid; 5. Doubting Beckett: voices descant, stories still; Conclusion: Humanness unbound; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

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