Responses to Modernity: Essays in the Politics of Culture

Overview

This book consists of essays and reviews that address social, political, and cultural issues which arose in connection with literature broadly conceived in the wake of the First World War, and extending throughout the twentieth century.

The first portion of the volume concerns France, with both essays on individual writers such as Paul Valéry, Jacques Maritain, Albert Camus, André Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Yves Bonnefoy and a piece on French intellectuals between the ...

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Overview

This book consists of essays and reviews that address social, political, and cultural issues which arose in connection with literature broadly conceived in the wake of the First World War, and extending throughout the twentieth century.

The first portion of the volume concerns France, with both essays on individual writers such as Paul Valéry, Jacques Maritain, Albert Camus, André Malraux, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Yves Bonnefoy and a piece on French intellectuals between the wars.The second part concerns Germany and Romania, with essays on Ernst Juenger, Gottfried Benn, Erich Kahler, E. M. Cioran, and others.

The volume concludes with essays on problems of literary criticism, in dialogue with such critics as Gary Saul Morson, Ian Watt, T. S. Eliot, and R. P. Blackmur. These essays also discuss the history of the novel and the question of "realism."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In addition to knowing his way around texts and ideas, Frank stresses human relationships as these are played out in intersecting careers and influential friendships—The life of literature is a continuing series of such dialogues between the living and the dead. This wise and generous book, culminating and recapitulating Frank's career, invites us to participate in the conversation and helps equip us with the knowledge to do so."-The Times Literary Supplement

"Joseph Frank has long enjoyed the status of an icon within literary study—first, through his epic five-volume study of Dostoevsky and, second, through his role as a public intellectual. The distinguished and often provocative essays in Responses to Modernity give ample testimony to this second role, in which, writing with his customary clarity and grace, he takes up such topics as the nature of literary realism and the temptation of Fascism for some famous intellectuals."-Herbert Lindenberger, Stanford University

"Joseph Frank, noted for his monumental biography of Dostoyevsky, is a critic of great cultural breadth, securely grounded in philosophy and in the literatures of America, Europe, and Russia. Responses to Modernity shows him at his best. What it does especially well is survey the intellectual life of France and Germany before and after World War II in the brilliant works that emerged from Europe's dark night, in the patter of ideological barkers inviting young minds to part the curtain and enter their tents, in the story of those who fought shy of radical creeds and of those who couldn't resist the lure of primitivism."-Fredrick Brown, Professor Emeritus, University of Stony Brook, SUNY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823239252
  • Publisher: Fordham University Press
  • Publication date: 6/12/2012
  • Pages: 246
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Frank is Professor Emeritus of the Comparative Literature Department at Princeton University and of the Slavic and comp. Lit. Dept. of Stanford University. He has published five volumes on the life and works of Dostoevsky, recently condensed into one with the title: Dostoevsky, A Writer in His Time.

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Table of Contents

Previous Publication ix

Introduction 1

Part 1 France

1 Paul Valéry: Masters and Friends 5

2 Jacques Maritain: Medieval Modernism 22

3 Camus as Journalist 34

4 André Malraux: A Hero of His Time 45

5 Yves Bonnefoy: Notes of an Admirer 61

6 Racine and Anti-Semitism 78

7 Nicola Chiaromonte: The Ethics of Politics 86

8 French Intellectuals between the Wars 96

9 Sartre: An Existentialist in the Underworld 105

Part 2 Germany and Romania

10 Ernst Juenger: An Impenitent Prussian 111

11 The "Double Life" of Gottfried Benn 116

12 Erich Kahler and the Quest for a Human Absolute 120

13 Eliade, Cioran, Ionesco: The Treason of the Intellectuals 136

Part 3 Critics and Criticism

14 Eliot's Legacy 157

15 The Novel in Wonderland 165

16 R. P. Blackmur's Texts: An Introduction 177

17 Ian Watt: A Tribute 187

18 Gary Saul Morson's Narrative and Freedom 204

19 Lilian Furst and the Art of Literary Realism 215

Index 221

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