Blasted Literature: Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism

Blasted Literature: Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism

Blasted Literature: Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism

Blasted Literature: Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism

Synopsis

By connecting Fenian and anarchist violence found in popular fiction from the 1880s to the early 1900s with the avant-garde writing of British modernism, Deaglán O Donghaile demonstrates that Victorian popular fiction and modernism were directly influenced by the explosive shocks of late nineteenth-century terrorism. For the first time, late-Victorian 'dynamite novels', radical journalism and modernist writing are brought together in provocative readings of Henry James, R L Stevenson, Joseph Conrad and Wyndham Lewis. Key Features
• Extensive original archival research from libraries in the UK, Ireland and the US
• The first book to examine types of political and literary disruption
• Reads Henry James, R L Stevenson and Joseph Conrad in new contexts
• Detailed discussion of Wyndham Lewis's avant-garde Vorticist journal BLAST in chapter 4

Excerpt

‘Victorian’ is a term at once indicative of a strongly determined concept and, simultaneously, an often notoriously vague notion, emptied of all meaningful content by the many journalistic misconceptions that persist about the inhabitants and cultures of the British Isles and Victoria’s Empire in the nineteenth century. As such, it has become a by-word for the assumption of various, often contradictory habits of thought, belief, behaviour and perceptions. Victorian studies and studies in nineteenth-century literature and culture have, from their institutional inception, questioned narrowness of presumption, pushed at the limits of the nominal definition, and sought to question the very grounds on which the unreflective perception of the so-called Victorian has been built; and so they continue to do. Victorian and nineteenth-century studies of literature and culture maintain a breadth and diversity of interest, of focus and inquiry, in an interrogative and intellectually openminded and challenging manner, which are equal to the exploration and inquisitiveness of their subjects. Many of the questions asked by scholars and researchers of the innumerable productions of nineteenth-century society actively put into suspension the clichés and stereotypes of ‘Victorianism’, whether the approach has been sustained by historical, scientific, philosophical, empirical, ideological or theoretical concerns; indeed, it would be incorrect to assume that each of these approaches to the idea of the Victorian has been, or has remained, in the main exclusive, sealed off from the interests and engagements of other approaches. A vital interdisciplinarity has been pursued and embraced, for the most part, even as there has been contest and debate amongst Victorianists, pursued with as much fervour as the affirmative exploration between different disciplines and differing epistemologies put to work in the service of reading the nineteenth century.

Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Culture aims to take up both the debates and the inventive approaches and departures from . . .

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