This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901.
. A post-industrial age in the first urbanised country of Europe, the first in world trade and on the way to becoming the greatest empire the world had known.
The Industrial Revolution had created great accumulation of wealth on the one hand and the pauperisation of the dispossessed rural people who had moved into towns with nothing to sell except their labour. A period of great social unrest (the Chartist Movement), of social division to the extent that Benjamin Disraeli, who was one of England's Prime Ministers over the period spoke of the "two nations".
. A postmetaphysical age. Geological theories of catastrophism (according to which the earth had been created and destroyed several times, as it could be deduced from the unrelated layers of fossils), the Bridgewater Treatises
On Astronomy and General Physics (theorising astronomy in terms of flux, emphasising the
instability of the universe), evolutionary theories had created a metaphysical crisis, the decay of faith, universal doubt and scepticism.
1832. Young MP, Thomas Babington Macaulay, argues in favour of political reform: People crushed by the law have no hopes but from power. If laws are their enemies, they will be enemies to laws ..." Let the law incorporate new groups, and they will defer to the state system. The reform of the legislation extended progressively the right to vote, incorporating, first, the middle class, and afterwards the entire male population in the political system. The political map changed in favour of the middle class.
. Unitarianism (Joseph Priestley, James Martineau, W.J. Fox) had derived from Locke and Newton a doctrine of determinism and necessarianism. Adverse to liberalism, substitution of free will for necessity. An iron system of moral duties was developed including: domestic mission, work for the good of the community, public spirit, patriotism and philanthropy. Against the wicked world of selfishness and passion (associated with the self-willed aristocrats, the drinking and gambling party addicted to anti-social behaviour); it was through suffering and self-sacrifice that one could accede to a wholesome life.
. Evangelicalism. Belief in progress and social reform, work ethics.
. Methodism. Stressing the importance of self-scrutiny. One's mind should be permanently watchful of morally objectionable motives and purposes. It fostered a sense of guilt in each human being, including children. At the same time, it spawned a century of autobiographical writing, in which people were laying bare their motives for actions, doubts, scruples, etc.
Isobel Armstrong (Victorian Poetry) distinguished two groups of reformers.
The Radicals, including utilitarianists (followers of Jeremy Bentham and James Mill), social theorists of the positivist school, such as J.S. Mill and dissenters.
According to Bentham (Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation"), man never seeks inward perfection. He is only swayed by two principles: pleasure and pain, which are the foundation of his behaviour to others. Society is a collection of persons pursuing each his separate interest or pleasure. A good government will keep in mind the interests of the numerical majority. General utility is the foundation of morality, metaphysics being abandoned in favour of political economy and philosophy.
J.S. Mill develops his version of positivism which means awareness of the individual's struggle against the oppressive social body ( On Liberty), of the split between public and private in the modern, capitalist and bureaucratic society. Against metaphysics and transcendentalism, stressing the historicity of all institutional forms of life.
W.J. Fox (editor of Monthly Repository) works out a plan for institutional reform: redistribution of wealth, education of the poor, culture made accessible to the workers, abolition of the taxes on knowledge.
The Conservatists. Arthur Hallam and the Cambridge Apostles. Against the Reform Bill, yet also repudiating aristocratic privilege. Reform was possible through culture, education and religion.
Hallam: essay on Cicero: a disciple of Epicurean epistemology seeing emotion as the ground of consciousness and knowledge. The mind is a flux of sensations, and man acts
mainly from feeling. There are no permanent, valid truths in the universe. Individual character is revealed by emotional projection on objects. Reflection is also necessary for cognition. Therefore the poem emerges from two consciousnesses: the double poem ( Marianna, The Lady of Shallot) is an example of poetry of sensation (the heroines expressing what they feel) doubled up by a poetry of reflection (an outward narrator observing them from the outside). Myths, legends, previous texts are considered, in Herder manner, links which unify nations through time. It is in culture one can find stability, permanence.
Alfred Tennyson (
Poems, Chiefly Lyrical, 1830) begins by writing sensuous, purist poems which engage in a
dialogue with previous texts (they are intertexts, for instance, Marianna which borrows its epigraph and situation from Shakespeare's Measure for Measure).
The poetry of the radicals.
Robert Browning, associated with W.J. Fox, wrote social fictions, sensuous and social art, not pure and idealised. His rhetorical masks (invented personae) are the product of social interaction and of historcized forms of class and gender relations. Their thinking and speech are shaped by their contacts with institutions (political, religious, artistic). Dramatic Lyrics (1836, 1842), Men and Women (1855). Advertisement to Dramatic Lyrics (1842): his poetry is "lyric in expression, dramatic in principle... utterances of so many imaginary persons, not mine." The poem is an expressive fiction of a psychological moment. Subjects and social processes are intertwined.
The Dramatic Monologue.
Hallam: "a graft of the lyric on the dramatic". Marking the end of romantic self-expressionism and individual solipsism, the end of poetry as an aesthetic whole.
Metaphysical uncertainty had discredited monologism. The new hybrid generic forms are the expression of conflicting values and of scepticism: there can be no unique or unified perspective on any situation.
Political explanation: a form of dramatic eloquence instead of pure lyricism could be a more efficient instrument of reform.
J.S. Mill: Eloquence supposes an audience; the peculiarity of poetry appears to us to lie in the poet's utter unconsciousness of a listener [... ] Eloquence is feeling pouring itself out to other minds, courting their sympathy, or endeavouring to influence their belief, or move
them to passion or to action. (
Thoughts on Poetry and Its Varieties).
"In the first half of the century the concept of psychology was shifting from an earlier focus on the human soul or mind, as distinct from the body, to embrace both mind and body through mental pathology - aberrations and diseases. (...)
.... the dramatic monologue ... challenges dualism (body and soul, public and private, culture and nature) through representing the self not as a separate unit, but as tied to linear history and an open cultural system. It also represents the contradictions and differences of the self in language, continually enacting the doubled subject as both homogeneous "true person" and heterogeneous, disappearing moment of speech or signification. ... the monologue form thus shifts aesthetic ideologies from homogeneity and wholeness to continuity and incompleteness. Combining lyric with narrative and dramatic elements, it disrupts atemporal universality, introduces mimetic particularity, and emphasises the dialogical nature of language, challenging as it does so idealist notions of the essential and single self. (E. Warwick Slinn, "The dramatic monologue". In
A Companion to Victorian Literature and Culture. Edited by Herbert F. Tucker. Blackwell, 1999.)
E.W. Slinn identifies three functions of the dramatic monologue in relation to psychic conditions:
1. Showing how the solipsism of isolated personal feeling leads to delusion and visions of omnipotence ("Porphyria's Lover" in Madhouse Cells, 1842).
2. Culturally interventionist function, (escape from solipsism). A form of cultural criticism, showing how psychological conditions are grounded in history. Benthamite aesthetics: fictional constructs are culturally indispensable, essential to language and conceptualization, intervening substantially in the world, effecting choices and actions. (Andrea del Sarto, 1855).
3. Representing the dynamic process of subjectivity in process, speakers proffering versions of "the dangerous edge of things", energetically
excessive, ambivalent. (
Bishop Blougram's Apology).
Essay topic:: Ascribe one of Browning's monologues to one of the types mentioned above.
The end of monologism characterises early Victorian fiction as well. The god-like, omniscient narrator and puppeteer is still present in Thackeray's Vanity Fair, for instance. However, the dominant tendency is that of substituting epistemoplogical relativism for omniscience. In the Bildungsnovels, such as Dickens's
David Copperfield and Great Expectations,
the protagonist travails through errors and self-ignorance towards enlightenment through experience of the world and with the help of other characters. In Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) or Bleak House (Ch. Dickens) there is disjunction of voices and perspectives, indeterminacy of focalization and narratorial control.
In Wuthering Heights, for instance, there are several framing divisions of the text:
1. Lockwood's recurring frame of the story of the Heights and of Nelly's account of that story (1801-3). 2. Nelly Dean's recurring frame. 3. The enframed plot of Heathcliff and Cathy (1771-1801).
The novels is an exercise in hermeneutics (interpretation), and the reader is invited to participate in it, as none of the narrators (including the insert narratives of Cathy, Zilla, Joseph, Isabella and Heathcliff) can be aligned with the author's "official" point of view.
Fiction too tends towards generic hybridity, mixing up elements of romance, the picaresque novel and the historical novel. Features of the historical novel:
- a shared social self and problems of a corporate order displace romantic self-inquiry.
George Eliot and G. . raced and gendered social body). The poetics of the realist novel.characters are evolving entities. -society is not natural but an artefact of common belief.characters are heroic. suspense.H. not immovable types. Lecture 1-2 (continued). supernatural occurrences. passionate.intense emotions. mysterious. Literature and Culture. .society is an entity with characteristic features.intense relationship with nature . customs. conventions instead of the human soul against a cosmic setting.personal identity appears serially (a classed. madness . 1. Features of romance . rebels.romances value the individual's rights over society's needs. not a pastoral. timeless setting. . terror.focus on social change. . Lewes .. .suprematization of childhood Essay topic: "Wuthering House /Jane Eyre between history and romance".
society obeys the same laws of growth as biological life. . it is a mode . that the sky is still the sky though it may be either bright or sunny . that He is neither of us. customs. based on what is probable.. All the more sacred is the task of the artist when he undertakes to paint the life of the people [instead of] the manners and conversations of beaux and duchesses. palpable end or closure: ensuring aesthetic order or cultural meaningfulness. .. in place of definite.. Eliot: the main elements of grammar are simply indispensable facts of human existence: that I am not you. "Notes on Form in Art": the conception of wholes composed of parts bound together by common likeness or mutual dependence. at one with the world. logical consistency. and not by substitutinjg vague forms bred by imagination on the mists of feeling. as empirical reality is not worth being reproduced under its accidental aspects. language is transparent. people are the growth and outcome of the past.indebted to Auguste Comte ("System of Positive Polity") Assumptions: . institutions. . but the author can testify to the verdicity of its making "what that reflection is" .. Knowledge is aligned with correct perspective. The author places a screen of "an ingeniuos web of probabilities" between his mind and reality: maybe not a faithful picture of empirical reality but a valid epistemological construction. . . on inner. environemnt. Reciprocal influence between self and social medium.Eliot (review of Ruskin's Modern Painters: realism is the doctrine that all truth and beauty are to be attained by a humble and fithful study of nature. given in common to the community of speakers.as if taking the oath in the witness box). shaped by traditions. Features of realist novels: . of extending our contact with our fellow men beyond the bounds of our personal lot. substantial reality . . Art is the nearest thing to life. . objectivist view of knowledge (the mirror of reality may be defective.
. understanding human nature in general. . collision between corporate and individualist ideologies. grand style: to compose and elevate the mind by producing moral efffects . from a high standing.from region to class (a formation of social relations ina whole social order) . political and ideological involvement or narrow class interests.interlaced processes . seeking inner perfection and intellectual freedom. competing values in equipose .. a leap from Benthamite egoism to Feurbachian humanism (scientific law + humanist spirit. . seeing the self reflected in another. . Bulstrode and evangelicalism. on past experience. poetry is reflection. Armstrong). subjectivity is turned into material for critique and inevstigation (I. not the calss spirit but the general human spirit. . look for the best in the whole of life and history. 2. centrally aligned by the omniscient narrator who negotiates between private consciousness and a common social situation . It should provide a timeless story of great human action. not only one's narrow interests). at a remove from it. poetry should eschew the relativistic spirit of the time. . Dorothea and romantic self-achievement. different points of view. Essay topic: Dickens's Bildungsnovels inbetween individuation and realist class consciousness. From novels of individuation to the assertion of society. Rooting value in the human collective. . the positivists' totalizing narratives (Middlemarch: Lydgate and scientific rationalism. The ethical aesthetic of Matthew Arnold.
. of which the chief characteristic is argumentation. etc. First Series. The age of criticism: in which reason is only satisfied with what stands the test of free and open examination. Denies the superiority of the creative effort of the human spirit over the critical effort.. religious sects. Irish and English Catholicism.] Religion no longer provides a principle of cultural unity because the modern age has witnessed the separation of the cultural spheres of knowledge (science). Modernity and Postmodernity (Sage. To be enlightened: to use one's own reason confidently. whereas private reason is primarily institutional (the use one makes of one's reason in a certain civil post or office). "An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment ?" points to a disparity between culture and society: the forces of enlightenment had not truly penetrated the age. Immanuel Kant's essay. Gerard Delanty . art and morality from each other. The intellectual work of a nation which has no centre or intellectual . [. free from political or practical considerations. Criticism means argumentative renewal and rejection of foundational acts. Public reason is intellectual discourse..). The public use of reason pertains to academic discourse and to the public sphere of discourse. Matthew Arnold . Lecture 3 Mid-century Victorians and the Kantian heritage. without the aid of another. The cognitive sphere should grow autonomous from the religious. The public use of reason is to be contrasted to the "private use of reason". 1865). 2000: 11-13): The Kantian Self is a centred ego who inhabits a culturally decentred world. Literature and Culture. seeking the honourable integrity of stoicism. The private use of reason: when the mind applies itself to narrow party and sect interests (Whigs and Tories. The academic discourse imposes high standards in matters of intellect and taste. Man discovering the power of his mind which should take an objective view of things. Preface to the Critique of Pure Reason. "The Literary Influence of Academies". The critique of tradition enters the discourse of modernity."The Function of Criticism at the Present Time" (Essays in Criticism.
Isobel Armstrong ( Victorian Poetry) sees the poetry of G. That is why the modern situation (the lovers withdrawn to Dover Beach and looking over to the embittered French land at the time of the 1848 revolution) is no different from ancient woes such as those described by Sophocles. at variance with the mechanical and material civilization.a correlative of Kant's "enlightenment". open mind. The centred Kantian moral Self (obeying moral laws having a necessary and universal character) undertakes a critique of the fragmented social body whose members pull into different directions: the self-willed aristocrats pursuing private pleasure.. A timeless situation (present-day Europe as well as ancient Greece). a composed. Philistines. while deploring. lofty tone. Arnoldian "quiet" landscapes of moonbleached shores. as society had become a battlefield of people at each other's throats. a look at the world of historical experience from above and from afar. . foundational spirit of Hebraism with emphasis on obedience to inherited customs and usage. Hopkins as an exercise in the phenomenology of perception and the . their access to power could cause social chaos. let the two lovers unite into a centre of mutual affection and understanding. . "Barbarians. Populace". "Hebraism and Hellenism". A defence of the Hellenistic. the middle class engulfed in vulgar materialism.M.Culture and Anarchy: Arnold's collection of cultural philosophy.Dover Beach As the sea of faith had receded. as religion could no longer provide cultural and spiritual unity in the postmetaphysical age. however. The disinterested pursuit of knowledge: a desire for the things of the mind simply for their own sake. borrowed from Swift.metropolis like an academy betrays a note of provinciality. "Sweetness and Light" . Unless they were educated. playing freely about the object of observation. its moral relaxation. which sets culture as the quest for inner perfection. The ethics of right conduct by the other ( let us be true to one another) is autonomous of all private worldviews in a world divided against itself. a writer of the English Enlightenment. the anarchic working class threatening social peace. The critique of the traditional.
. commenting on their constructed. it is regenerative but also devouring. H. cit: 3. Transgressing the Modern: "the grotesque body transgresses its own limits. Central to this is the relation of the Self to the Other [. destructive. Dipsychus is a double-voiced poem: a romantic idealist's effusions being accompanied by a sceptic and cynical voice. ugly . The . a well-bounded individual. uncontrolled.. The objects of consciousness are discrete individual phenomena (pied. individual and distinctive design). It is opposed to what has been called the body of modernity: static. incomplete.. spotted. away from the gregarious masses of "people". unheroic facts of human nature. drama and narrative. His poems are usually self-reflexive.self-reflexive construction of representation in light of H. the realist novel supporting the ethos of the middle class and mirroring the life of "the people" (G.. exotic and primitive peoples. an object of consciousness. I. were running counter to an idealist of the moralist-aesthetic school (Arnold) who takes refuge into solipsistic meditation. Kant ( Metaphysics or the Philosophy of Consciousness). "Colonialism became a regime of representation . selved) whose attributes are distinctness and clearness (inscape. as in The Windhover) is first individualised as inscape. a fact of language. closed.A. and the sites of massified education and consumption which have all provided the foundations of a unified self. Clough's poetry reflects on the Babel of voices in mid-century: the discourses of progress and evolutionism. this was a project of mastery. the common. a bird.. Kant's account of Vorstellung (representation) doubles up into immediate and reflexive. etc. Generic hybridity is complete.] The self received its affirmation of identity only by reference to an unknowable other. and then the object of intuition is turned into a sign.): "The foundation of modern culture is the doctrine of the autonomy of the self and its project of self-determination. Transgressing the Modern Gerard Delanty (Op. be it God. decorous. criminals. The object of perception (a landscape. linguistic nature. attempting to approach ideals of beauty. adversaries of war. the industrial and urban life-world. For modernity. Mansel's elaboration of I. the poor..L. for self-determination was also a project of the determination of the Other. poetry descends into the ordinary realities of everyday life: general wants. the mad.. nature . Clough mixing freely lyric. " John Jervis. generic type.. Eliot). is excessive in its very nature: it is dirty. ordinary feelings. a doctrine that has presupposed particular spatial and temporal structures. such as those associated with the nation-state. With him. as in Pied Beauty.
L. this time from the aesthetic pole of the divide. cards) helps impose her rule on the animal underworld released from the unconscious of her sleeping mind. non-libidinal self can no longer be established. revealed "a deep. the changing cognitive structures of the mind in the later half of the nineteenth century also changed the cultural models of interpretation.(the rational self controlling social.] Henry Mayhew.identification with the primitive. handsome self. created a counter-culture of opposition to Victorian progressivism and positivism. ambivalent fascination with the world of rats. the cognitive advantage of the Kantian self (the sphere of logical and linguistic games. uncontrollable However. Contrariwise. rules of social games such as cricket or the caucus race. The urbane gentleman "goes native" (like a native in the colonies). The urban space is interrupted by enclaves of indecent. in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (R. remained a dis-identification with white.[. Jekyll's body is split up into the decorous... artefacts. Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. joins the underworld of Haeckel's philogeny (history of the species) with extinct species and atavistic leftovers.Stevenson) and in The Picture of Dorian Gray (Oscar Wilde). Alice used to define her identity in relation to inferior social others: Mabel who lives in a cottage and lacks her intelligence and education. and the deformed libidinal self which is gaining control. a body of poets and artists. low life conduct. racial. imaged as dark. Darwin. a sociologist. They emerged from the city's underground conscience as the demonized Other. Her body becomes unstable. the control of the rational. Ray Lancaster). founded by Dante Gabriel Rossetti." Theories of atavism and degeneration (Haeckel. . Now she falls through a rabbit rat. colonial others or being invaded by them) The Pre-Raphaelite School. patriarchal bourgeois society. distorted. Essay topic: Compare and contrast realist and gothic constructions of Self and Other in Jane Eyre/ Wuthering Heights/ Great Expectations and in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde/ The Picture of Dorian Gray. feminine and profligate. feared as libidinal creatures.
The social body was seen as a jungle world of the ruthless fight for survival. Lecture 4. an aggregate of beings subject to heredity laws and uncontrolled outbursts of atavistic leftovers. Features: . defiance of academic standards and conventions of representation (the law of perspective is abandoned. Evolutionism was counterpointed by new theories of regression and degeneracy (Edwin Ray Lankester).Helmholtz and Clausius. Darwin's Origin of Species imparted a teleological design on biological theories of evolution and natural selection. coupled with the theory of the death of the universe (the second law of thermodynamics. the individuals also being bearers of the capacity for mutation. the law of entropy .In light of Kant's Critique of the Aesthetic Judgement. The House of Life. the work of art should be autonomous from all alien impositions (moral. an end in itself. a sonnet-sequence). etc. morals. Cultural Narratives. the cult of the aesthetic value as an end in itself (Rossetti. The individual life is a playground of biological factors. popularised in England . The End of the Century in England. withdrawing from the Philistine present into pre-modern. Family traits are being preserved through heredity. religious. medieval worlds. religion. . . having no relevance in itself.). while also producing an overlap of social and biological models of reality. . they paint in the open air and after non-professional models. (Naturalism and the Aesthetic Decadence) . etc. love of sensuous beauty in the absence of moral inhibitions and as a new religion .) . . The introduction of Herbert Spencer's phrase "the survival of the fittest" into late editions of Ch. which. Literature and Culture. non-conformist attitudes to love. the desire to baffle the conventional middle class public. They aestheticized their proper existence.
Tess knows her story is only the repetition of previous lives in her family's past./ Projecting trait and trace/ Through time to times anon. the blind. Characters go through experiences similar to those of their ancestors. of the traditional linear and chronodiegetic narrative. the absence of moral improvement). The same kind of experience (Tess victimised by males who take advantage of her defenceless. beyond the reach of reason. Reality is a "psychological phenomenon". a mixture of evolutionary phases: "for all her bouncing handsome womanliness. or Heredity: I am the family face. The Christian. According to wave theory. . the novel is experimenting with ideas. where a parallel is established between the work of the experimental scientist and the naturalist writer: as well as a scientist. you could sometimes see her twelfth year in her cheeks. Hardy made the first step towards the creation of the modernist spatial form: the narrative structure is built on leitmotifs. the artist's. and even her fifth would flit over the curves of the mouth now and then. an essay of 1891. a character's. a sense of belonging to a trend. to a fresh manifestation of the Immanent Will. I live on.by John Tyndall in Light and Sound) bred a pessimistic world outlook. and the end is a return to the beginning (counter-evolutionary." (Tess of the D'Urbervilles). Thomas Hardy. subjective life caught in some flow of consciousness. or the ninth sparkling from her eyes. Arthur Schopenhauer. Immanent Will to which man's individual will is subservient. counter-progressive view./ And leaping from place to place/ Over oblivion. known as nihilistic universalism./ Flesh perishes. recurrent themes and images. The gridding . Hardy plays similar tunes in novels and poems (such as Tess's Lament. this physical theory of the universe as flux and of the mind as stream of impressions offered the epistemological ground of impressionistic art. light. verifying a hypothesis. Break up with realism. a reality like the inside of a hot house. vulnerable self) is repeated again and again. heat and sound are interchangeable expressions of a single system of energy which pulses through the universe borne in the medium of "luminiferous ether". a movement of ideas. Hardy: to see in half and quarter views the whole picture. Refusal of mimesis (art is not copyism) and of "the idle trade of story-telling". a combination of sensations impressed on the various sense organs). A poetic art inspired by Émile Zola's Roman Expérimental. Emulation of role-models. personal God was displaced by an unconscious and impersonal force. With backing from physiological psychology (our perceptions are a synaesthetic mix. was the philosopher of Studies in Pessimism. . "The Science of Fiction". emulated by Herbert Spencer and John Stuart Mill. . the expression of the death drive. defining the human condition as suffering and death drive.) The human body is a site of permanent change.
The female figure is the agent of moral and social transgression. We see them combined with current theories on racial differences (Georges Cuvier. the lower passions and instincts had a prior adaptive role in human evolution.of Hardy's works to the physical notions of the universe as a closed system in which the amount of energy remains stable shows the degree to which scientific ideas fed into his poetic temper. . the heavier Tutonic and Scandinavian element is modified by the primitive roots of earlier races. Their psyche is a battleground for an encounter between the primitive heritage and the cultural acquisition through schooling or social displacement. instinctual. distortion . the grotesque imagination . having two kinds of content at once (Isobel Armstrong). reviewed Hardy pointing out the fact that his women are amoral. and write a sort of democratic poetry. Characters. shaped by work and labour. that they have no souls. of ancient rural festivals. Here. cynical and competitive. going back to the prehistoric origins of Britain. demonic. with nothing but their labour to sell. The individual lives are perpetuated through vibrations inaudible to us but physically there. The peace of the ecological niche. Indebted to John Ruskin's distinction between free aristocratic societies and capitalist or slave societies. The conservative ideology of timeless mythology or past traditions (of the Middle Ages) is rewritten serving a test case for individual conscience against authority. According to Theodule Ribot. . such as Tess or Sue and Jude ( Jude the Obscure). where the needs of environment and organism are well-matched. In the latter. their transformation into migrants from place to place in search of work. the peasants' dispossession of their land. and. They overlay narrative with lyric and drama. wild "primitive phase of society".caricature. a gender theorist. In 1883 Havelock Elis. they can overcome the qualities of reason and self-control. therefore. in revolt from society's moral hypocrisy. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. is peopled by a rustic. parody. taking up myth and rethinking it for a different politics. brutishly materialistic. overlapping temporally distant forms of existence as if the universe were "full-fugued". built like a musical structure of counterpointed variations of a theme (a vision of the world underpinning the "fugued" narrative structure).is a response to social and psychological oppression. is disturbed by the intrusion of capitalism. "In a Museum": the voice of a fossilised bird and the voice of a woman he had heard the night before continue to pulse as sound-waves through the universe. Comte de Gobineau). The construction of Hardy's characters is indebted to Herbert Spencer's biological theories of society and essentialist ideas about gender differences which fuelled the emerging discourse of sexology. These artists and poets bridge the Coleridge and the Bentham schools of thought. pastiche. Hardy's Dorset country. Steps on the way to fin-de-siecle aestheticism. suffer from an unstable relationship between body and mind.
the types of life themselves are evanescing into each other by fine gradations. keeping the gates to death. displaces the mystic body and religious symbolism.Dante Gabriel Rossetti: The Blessed Damozel: the heroine takes erotic desire to heaven. a philosophically inclined speaker is reading the body of a beautiful. The Defence of Guenevere: the heroine defends her case before Arthur's court. Laus Veneris. modern science. governing the cycles of birth and death. The aesthetic decadence Walter Horatio Pater Tuning his aesthetics to current scientific theories in his essay on Coleridge: biology. which should be more aesthetic than intellectual or moral. Algernon Charles Swinburne' s Poems and Ballads (1866) follow Baudelaire's challenge of conventional morality by a perverse sense of beauty. setting passionate love above moral conventions and chivalric notions condemning her to a loveless marriage born of dynastic politics. whose beauty is an end in itself. as in music. who fascinate and repel. There is a shocking mixture of the ribald and the pious. The picture of the universe in flux engenders an aesthetic of fleeting and refined sensuous impressions recorded within the inner theatre of the mind. (Marius the Epicurean). love and her physical beauty being set above religious values. Sensuous beauty is the supreme value. The sensuous body. the mind is a stream of sensations. possessed of transgressive knowledge. . in general. In Postscript to Appreciations: rejecting both classicism (dead to substance) and romanticism (dead to form) and pleading for the complete fusion of content and form. sleeping prostitute. William Morris. The Garden of Proserpine. had discredited the eternal outlines Coleridge had been seeking: evolution is permanent. The aesthetics of evil is centred on the female figure: destructive. "Diaphaneité": an early essay launching a programme of regeneration of the world through art: to treat life in the spirit of art. blasphemous and politically radical. In The Fleshly School of Poetry (1871). pathologised. Cleopatra are evil enchantresses. Robert Buchanan calls them "public offenders spreading the seeds of disease". In Jenny. They were publicly condemned for their transgressive aesthetics. a beautiful face hiding the maladies of the soul.
ultimately dead Author. unconscious Will). and not life. and it is the picture that spurns his desire to turn living into an experiment in the sensations and impressions that its intense. He is poisoned by a book. heightened form can throw up.he has revealed his own soul in the picture -. we see Wilde moving to rhetorical criticism: the text rather than the Work. vanishing. Dorian errs trying to realise his ideal of the beautiful in an imperfect medium. The Picture of Dorian Gray: an impressionistic novel. artefacts constitute reality. Basil Hallward is hesitating between traditional art and its early modernist critique. As well as Tristan Corbiere. With the self-inflicted death of Dorian. through intense living. that art really mirrors. inverted the traditional relationship between reality and art. (Schopenhauer's order of culture. turning it into a work of art. as by Comtian necessitarianism. It is indifferent to facts." Works of art have the power to shape reality. The changing portrait is more of a diary of Dorian's life. "It is the spectator. Dorian aestheticizes his life. it is the inviolable property of the Author (signing it. recreating it and refashioning it in fresh forms. invents. dealing with what is unreal and non-existent. replaced by Dorian. dreams. a record of a mind's world. etc. of self-expressionism and of leaving life unaltered. Art is sort of autobiography . A Rebours (Against Nature) by Huysmans determines the course of his life. like the whole of life. Wilde believes that masks. as in romantic heroic history. of ideas or representations. and to weave them into a pattern".Affined to the spirit of Anatole Baju's 1886 Le Decadent. of an impersonal. The third stage is when Life gets the upper hand and drives Art into the wilderness: this is the true decadence.1). the picture resumes its youth and beauty. the beauty of the portrait makes him desire to "gather up the scarlet threads of his life. His life is chaotic. Consciousness in flux requests an art which is never static : an art that is necessarily immobile [conveying] the sense of swiftness and motion (p. he ought to have painted him in the costume of dead ages and not directly (realism of method). Next in line is the art which takes life as part of her rough material. of the growth of the aesthetic self: not being made. imagines. The order of artefacts is immortal. it is isolated by its frame from reality and it has a moral end: Dorian's physical beauty reflects his inner purity. Dorian rejects this sort of morality calling it "Phillistinism". From autobiographical criticism. He falls in love with his own image. Oscar Wilde in reply to the accusation of supporting decadent art ("The Decay of Lying"): the highest art is purely imaginative. the reader and entering into a sort of mutual relationship with him. His life cannot be separated from the changing patterns on a work of art. Dorian is recognized by his jewels. but making itself. Dorian can kill the Author but not a work of art. the lives of those who contemplate them. without mist or veil. which seemed to "contain the story of his life before he had lived it". claiming ownership). versus the world as blind. not making the world. Under the influence of Lord Henry. Like Sibyl Vane . The three characters stand for the three stages of the relationship between art and reality: Basil realises his mistake.
D.". Eliot. Wyndham Lewis. Art is immune from moral constraints. Our Cause is NO-MAN's.S. (identify repetitive situations and motifs testifying to a heightened awareness of form in comparison to the realist novel). Jozce. Essay topics: 1. no longer serving a certain ideology or non-aesthetic values : Mercenaries were always the best troops. Ezra Pound and T. editor of the Blast magazine and founder of vorticism. Hulme. Yeats. Vorticism.) we have separated them and have invented a realism that is vulgar. B. J. an idealism that is void. which dies with each individual. being convinced of the conventional and relative value of moral laws. T. Major trends: Imagism.before him (the actress who wants to leave the stage and get married). a Polish immigrant. The major contributors in Britain were not only natives (W. the moment he touches life he mars it (sinking deeper and deeper into crime) and it mars him. Wyndham Lewis. E. The Blast Manifesto was issued in 1914. It is only Lord Henry who embodies the Baudelairean dandy living only through the aesthetic in contradistinction to the laws of nature.. High Modernism. Epistemological sources and literary works. Lawrence) but also Joseph Conrad. seized with remorse. In the end. It was an international phenomenon. Proclaiming the autonomy of pure form. Literature and Culture. the family face. In revolt from the romantic tradition but also opposed to the radical contemporary . and a certain artefact incorporating human skill. (there are two forms of survival through time: hereditary features. cutting across European borders and the Transatlantic divide. Course 5. Virginia Woolf. he judges himself by moral standards and tries to destroy the portrait which had changed his life. identify it !) 2. Modernism (reaching its climactic point between the 1910s and the 1930s) was a movement of movements. and American-born Henry James. He echoes Pater's aesthetics: "the Greeks believed in the harmony of soul and body (.H. The world as will and idea in Tess of the d'Urbervilles.. The relationship between part and whole in the naturalist/ impressionistic novel. which travels through time unchanged. a matrix of trends rather than a school unified by a common aesthetic programme.
Art is reduced to a convention. T. T. His imagist technique places the physical landscape and the perceiving mind in relation. And it is at the same time what makes a writer most acutely conscious of his . which must terminate in sensory experience are given. but with a feeling that the whole of the literature of Europe from Homer and within it the whole of the literature of his own country has a simultaneous existence and composes a simultaneous order. borrowed from very different orders of things. et que s'en détache un tier aspect fusible et clar" Probable sources: Wilhelm Wundt's psycho-physical parallelism.E. Dubbing himself "a classical poet who remembers that he is mixed up with earth". Ezra Pound: The Imagist Manifesto in the March 1913 issue of Poetry: the image is "an intellectual and emotional complex in an instant of time".S. may form clusters or a vortex guiding the mind to a certain intuition. Eliot: "Tradition and Individual talent": "the historical sense involves a perception.vanguard movement in Italy (Marinetti's futurists): The North and the South are diametrically opposed species. The concatenation of images resembles a syllogism." Both Pound and Eliot emphasized the importance of tradition on condition it is "made new". is what makes a writer traditional. This historical sense. a situation. a volume of essays published posthumously in 1924). Hulme: "Romanticism and Classicism" (Speculations. The logic of the imagination may be said to replace the logic of concepts. the emotion is immediately evoked. which decays in time and goes out of existence (for instance. but of its presence. which shall be the formula of that particular emotion such that when the external facts. A theory of art backed up by De Vries's mutation theory: a new species comes into being in a jump (not through accumulations) and remains fixed as long as it is in existence. which is a sense of the timeless and of the temporal together. the blank verse of Elizabethan drama).S. T. Original statement: Mallarmé: "instituer une relation entre les images exacte. the historical sense compels a man to write not merely with his own generation in his bones. Eliot: the Objective Correlative defined in his essay on Hamlet as "an equation for an emotion": a set of objects. but many diverse images. No single image can convey the intuition of duration. a chain of events. two images uniting to suggest a third which is different to both. not only of the pastness of the past. Imagism is the phenomenology of perception: the way the mind grasps images of concrete objects and the way they are combined and processed. Alfred Binnet's theory of reasoning through images and Henri Bergson's concept of duration ( Matter and Memory). Images form visual chords.
of his contemporaneity. inner time of involuntary memory. alienated from her heroic past and swamped in materialism. All ages are contemporaneous. Modern fiction: the successive events of the time measured by the clock are disconnected atoms. that is to say. a motionless structure of a value that cannot alter and a significance that is always the same. in Morocco. The self grows by reinscribing its past experience. without separating its present state from its former states. gyres. as the omnipresence of imperishable types. It is internal time. the succession of conscious states when the ego simply lives. Yeats invented images whereby to represent formless time through stylistic arrangements (vortex. the Middle Ages are in Russia. Henri Bergson: Essai sur les données immediates de la conscience (1889). while memory traces the pattern they score upon consciousness." Changing views of time coming from: Friedrich Nietzsche's philosophy of cyclic time in The Second "Untimely Meditation": the past and the present are one. In the stream of consciousness novels. it is a synthesis of past selves. The stream of consciousness novels rescue past experience from randomness and meaninglessness. by anaylzing its past perceptions. The characters are constructed as centres of consciousness. Present-day Ireland.C. with all their diversity identical in all that is typical and. organizing and analysing it." The past is needed in order to redeem the chaos of historical time. It is B. because the act of writing spatializes experience. Virginia Woolf describes them in her essay. it is memory (Matter and Memory). there is a double temporal scheme: time measured by the clock and the subjective. can benefit by a recollection of Byzantium and its refined culture ("Byzantium" and "Sailing to Byzantium"). the narrative voice . Eliot's quotations from great works of the past are an attempted recovery of the meaningful from the past. fusing them into a spatial whole. it cannot be applied to the world outside because the individual cannot perceive duration unless it is cut into segments and thus spatialized. The future stirs already in the minds of the few. Ezra Pound: "Praefatio" to The Spirit of Romance: "It is dawn at Jerusalem while midnight hovers above the Pillars of Hercules. let us say. History needs renewed contact with the eternal. the phases of the moon).. There are two conceptions of time: pure duration. Real time is that in which people live and is not recoverable until after it has been experienced.place in time.
walking back on all fours to the jungle and refusing to be brought back to a "civilisation" which now has revealed its insensitivity to human suffering. They survive in religion. A parallel is established between the narrator's African experience and England’s prehistoric past. Kurtz. Europe was reverting to prehistory. Sir James G. The embedded narrative frames contribute a multiplicity of points of view: no unique and absolute truth about man and society is available anymore. the myth of the golden bough (priesthood could be assumed. Through colonial exploitation. spiritually dead phase. Narrative frame: that of voyage of discovery. exposing contemporary barbarity. married couples are alienated and bored. Joseph Conrad. The myth of rebirth through slaughter is compared to the Druidical reverence for the mistletoe. originally devised to explain rituals. Spiritual paralysis has inverted all energies in The Waste Land (of the Fisher King. author of The Golden Bough. . Heart of Darkness (1899). Putting together a variety of ethnographic sources and trying to discover a meaningful plot out of information culled from different societies. love is reduced to sexuality. south-east of Rome) by plucking the bough and then killing the incumbent of the temple. filtered (and possibly modified) through his consciousness. which he finds dark. Myths were acts of language. guilt.S. but it can be redeemed through an assembly of art works contributed by western cultures. Eliot does in The Waste Land: contemporary western civilization has decayed to a primitive. in a sacred grove dedicated to Diana at Aricia. its rapacity and barbarous nature lurking beneath a veneer of sophistication.(third person but focalizing the plot through characters. marriage ends up in abortion. the Empire man socialized in Europe becomes a ruthless extortionist of ivory in Africa. a pray to primitive instincts. using their point of view and stylistic register) commuting from one consciousness to another. Fraser. This is what T. The Grail Knight on the quest for life and fertility finally discovers them in the creative spirit of art. class and gender antagonisms. to forgotten and brutal instincts and monstrous passions. incomprehensible. and practitioner of the Comparative Method: comparing the habits of primitive man with those of civilised humans. humanity goes through armed conflicts or racial. literature and art. of exploration. Anthropology 1869: The Anthropological institute was founded (carrying forth the researches of The Ethnological Society of London). The loss of the realist author's moral and cognitive certainty (omniscient narrator) is reflected by the character-narrator telling the story of another. while primitive rites die out in time. For instance. people experience fear. whose sickness contaminates the whole land): water is not a symbol of fertility but the threat of death by drowning.
resulted from heredity. The Brickmaker. the insane. The Cousin. Fears of degeneration in the late 19th century: forty percent of recruits from Manchester declared unfit for military service. brooding motionless over the biggest. R. The inefficiency of the Empire revealed by the Boer wars. T. Coined the term "eugenics" in his Inquiries into Human Faculty (1883). Virginia Woolf. "well-nourished and well-descended". The Journalist. Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness opens with a bleak image of the Empire: a mournful gloom. The Intended ] Unnamed narrator] Eugenics Darwin. idiots.S. Mrs Dalloway: Lady Bruton. a form of "race suicide". The Company Representative. Eliot disputing his contemporaries's idea of being "well-born" (the first female speaker and the Smyrna merchant): he rejects the eugenics of biology or social affluence in favour of the art-born cultural icons of the dying Western civilization (according to Oswald Spengler's The Decay of the Western World). . town on earth. August Weismann's discovery of heredity plasm in 1883. epileptics. Rentoul: anxious over the children begotten by the diseased. Pollution of the race. 1895: Karl Pearson opened his Biometric Laboratory at University College. Hereditary Genius (1869): human character determined by heredity. taking segregationist attitudes. Origin of Species: socially deleterious states. They are concerned about national health.R. Sir Francis Galton. imbeciles. London. ranging from pauperism to mental illness. and the greatest. The Russian Harlequin.[Unnamed narrator [ Marlow [ The Chief Accountant and the Manager of the Central station. discusses sterilization of slum children with Richard Dalloway and Hugh Whitbred over lunch. an old woman "of pedigree".
S. Eliot replied to "Professionalism in Art". instinctual creatures (Otto Weininger: Sex and Character). cultivating the "superman". Virginia Woolf despised lowbrows while being the hostess of London intellectual elite (Bloomsbury circle). while women were seen as oinferior. Nietzscheanism In Ecce Homo: defining himself as "something tremendous". They are impressionistic narratives triggered by associations. where making the technique of art too difficult is denounced as decadence) in the 5th issue of the Egoist: it was precisely such ineffectual positions of writers that accounted for "British slackness". Essay topic: . who are being watched by a narrator who is privy to their mental processes. Sexology: the male as the originary and normative state. Modernist art was written for an elite and it was defended by F. shuttling between the short time scheme of present experience and the long-time scheme of "pre-history". Introspection. an article published in Times Literary Supplement (1918.R. The narrative structure of Breuer and Freud's 1895 Studies on Hysteria is replicated by modernist fiction: the episodic and fragmented narratives of self-observing speaking subjects. Psychoanalysis Depth psychology influenced the construction of modernist characters in the privileging of the subconscious determinism of the mind. He was Schopenhauer's disciple who had recommended selective breeding and the biological multiplication of men of genius. T. The philosopher of egotism emulated in England after the Victorian ethic of abnegation. autoanalysis is their characteristic activity. Lewes (in the Scrutiny magazine) as part of The Great Tradition against mass culture and "Americanization".Aldous Huxley's dystopic Brave New World imagines a de-humanized society of individuals artificially hatched and subject to eugenic practices of segregation. Adverse to democracy. It is through their associative reminiscencing that their past lives are reconstructed. not a man but dynamite.
centred on Virginia and Leonard Woolf but originating among the Cambridge Apostles. art critics. touch (the warm and cold bedsheets). which began in 1905. The first world cataclysm. imperialism. listed above). his mother had a nicer smell than his father). the aesthetic and symbolist beginnings of modernism. patriachal. gender and colonial discrimination. The Bloomsbury Group. taste (of the lemon platt). Interior monologue in the first person allows the reader free access to the thoughts of the characters. Although they were looking elsewhere for solutions to social and political disruptions. Stephen chooses though the Promethean egocentric rebel path. which had destroyed so many lives. such as analytic philosophy and psychoanalysis. unless he apologises. They were leftist in politics. critics of war. James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) A Künstlersroman whose plot is the becoming-artist of Irish Stephen Dedalus. smell (queer smell of the oil sheet. had caused a crisis of confidence in governmental politics and a sense of the absurdity of history. trying to extricate himself from his . The growth of Stephen's mind begins in the five senses: hearing the story of the moocow. and other leading intellectual figures of the time. As a child he is assailed by incomprehensible quarrels of the grown-ups."The Mind of Modernism: analyze one of the novels/ poems in the bibliography in light of the contemporary movement of ideas. that is. Literature and Culture 6. the pattern of development from childhood to maturity being mirrored by progressive generic complexity and command of language: from babytalk and tales to rhetorical mastery and literary affiliation to the legacy of Wilde and Yeats. also included painters. subject to questioning and punishments. Poetics and Politics of the Modernist Novel. threatened that. the novels of high modernism do reflect on contemporary politics. It continues with his education at a boarding school. at Belvedere in Dublin and his entry to University. economists. the eagle will pull out his eyes. sight (the father with the hairy face). open to new ideas and theories.
Dumas's idealised literary heroine in the flesh. The mode of art necessitates the act of "artistic conception. the builder of the labyrinth and the father of Icarus who had spurned the ground trying soar up to the sun. The priestly figures of his Catholic education do not meet his expectations either. leaning an elbow on the brown crossblind (blind to the cross ?). As well as in Ovid. Father Dolan's pandybat is not only an improper use of physical punishment on the path to spiritual salvation but also part of a set o icons which shows the church to be going against nature. It is politics. that determines Stephen to invent a language of his own mind. the artificer. Stephen speaks of women as if quoting from Otto Weininger ( Sex and Character): he will detach himself from "the weaknesses of their bodies and souls". displacing woman in the act of giving birth. Stephen is trying to transfer the gross earth into its sound and shape and colour attributes. the artist's figurative language which renders the world around him intelligible. He rejects Irish nationalism. He thinks that gifts of money (opening a loan bank for his family) can help him "build a breakwater of order and elegance against the sordid tide of life without him". looping the chord of the other blind as if proffering a noose. and living in a fortress or tower on the outer fringes of Dublin together with a student in medicine. but also Mother Church and Mother Ireland. as if he had been in labour. Ulysses (1922) The novel opens with Stephen back from France. an English student to which Irish language and custom are the object of an outsider's . The search for ideal substances in reality is doomed. The director proposing that Stephen enter the priesthood stands with his back to the light. and Haines. mourning his mother of whose death he feels guilty. Once out of nature. the peasant figure of the woman can no longer stir sensuous desire in him. his religious and national sources and authorities. On the contrary. He "felt the rhythmic movement of a villanelle" ("The Villanelle of the Temptress"). ends up in bitter disappointment. Buck Mulligan. He runs out of his money which is a lesson in the changing fortune of liquid capital. She has become the virgin goddess of the art cult. where Dedalus is said to "improve the work of nature". By refusing to accept the Eucharist and go away to France in pursuit of an artist's career. the light from behind touching "the curves of the skull" . artistic gestation and artistic reproduction". not only his natural mother whose heart he breaks in the process.a death-image -. the conqueror's foreign tongue: I have not made or accepted its words. Irish Catholicism. denying his natural parentage and seeking sonship with Daedalus. His dream of coming upon a Mercedes. he leaves behind. his imagination will replace a bird-woman whose heart is a rose (his Muse) for the prostitute who had polluted his mind and body. therefore. into a representation of the mind which is "an imperishable substance". freeing himself from the bonds of time and place. His choice of a self takes him through the usual errors of an inexperienced youth.birth-determined positioning summed up in the hierarchical nine-line address in the geography book: Stephen Dedalus/ Class of Elements/ Clongowes Wood College/ Sallius/ County Kildare/ Ireland/ Europe/ The World/ The Universe. He feels that the Dean's language is "an acquired speech" for him.
an Ulster Protestant Unionist. meant to reinforce the opposition between logos and nature ("Oxen of the Sun"). in the relaxation of a bath. instead of teaching them history (he defines history in Laforgue's way. from voyager to narrator of his voyage. The other companion is the English conqueror. revealing its disorder and pettiness (the world of drinking bartenders. the hostile attitude of Irish nationalists to Jews. personal and racial conflicts) and the sphere of logos: the newspapers as a synthesis of a day in the world's life. the plot journeys between the socio-historical world. Stephen is still entertaining his artistic ideal. Bloom . Stephen is trying to escape from present-day politics into history which is personal or family history. in the novel's mythic hypotext (underlying mythic pattern). like the classical sea-god. or a history of English styles which parallels the development of a foetus. while the Unionist is shown to be actively engaged in the political struggle over hegemony in Ireland: supporting the British. The third episode ("Proteus") reveals Stephen's authentic world: the workings of his mind. Nestor. dedicating himself exclusively to art and science. Proteus. The action starts at eight in the morning and ends at about three in the morning of June 16. the painful memory of his father's suicide and his son's death. as Telemachus. parodying tabloid journalism and the way it juxtaposes heterogeneous information and construes an artificial representation of events. Stephen too moves through positions or role-models: Telemachus. seeks escape in an exchange of letters with Marta Clifford which makes his adulterous attempt into a putative affair... at the same time doubling up. which is a history lesson and a conversation with Mr Deasy. whose name means "Far from the War". The first six episodes display a temporal and thematic overlap. From the seventh ("Aeolus") to the fifteenth ("Circe").research. In the sixth ("Hades"). There is no one to one correspondence between Joyce's characters and mythic archetypes. Homer's Odyssey. As Bloom. he had fought a duel with Ereuthalion in a war against barbarians). who is more interested in the history of his race across the ages than in that of Ireland. He teaches history while remaining himself uninvolved. stereotyped fashion magazines. Stephen (The "Telemachus" episode) is forced to live in the company of an Irishman who is studying the body and despises Stephen's idealism. Stephen tells children an anecdote which is a symptom of his unconscious feel of guilt. which is a shape-shifting reality. 1904. food stores. in his youth. mutates from Ulysses to Sindbad. the advertising canvasser. In "The Lotus-Eaters". in religion. In Nestor. the son of Ulysses. blaming the Jews for economic failure etc. Bloom goes to a funeral at the same time revealing the obsessions of his personal hell: his wife's adultery with her impresario. Stephen stays away from the intestine battles over hegemony among the various national and racial groups of Ireland. like Homer's Nestor who does not himself respond to Hector's challenge but urges the Greeks to do so by telling a story from his youth (how. In the second episode. cheap entertainments. The protagonist of Ulysses is Everyman choosing among mental and bodily lifestyles: . Hamlet . commercial deals. Leopold Bloom ("Calypso") too is estranged from his wife who is having an adulterous affair. as a nightmare out of which he is trying to wake up).
focalised narration: His eyes rested on her vigorous heaps (focalised through Bloom). Bloom and Stephen. for the sexual instinct and its various manifestations and perversions. and in order to do so he was forced to find a place. Bloom. James Joyce. some of the characters being genuine essays in philosophy. Ulysses/ A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. structures a plot unfolding in two interwoven strands: a naturalist plot (of the body ending up in Hades) and a symbolic plot (of regeneration through art). as well as Nietzsche's binary. are reunited in the former's home. The juxtaposition of multiple perspectives on the same events and scenes was characteristic of cubist art. history. art criticism and even scientific theories. before the flows of nature were restrained by the categories of culture. . Her libidinal energy stands for Mother Earth turning on itself since the beginning of time. in the physiological sphere. 2000: 18). who've just come out of the Night-town of debauchery and drinking. Bloom asks Molly to serve him breakfast in bed. intellectual and physical man entire. The structure has been defined as "allotropic" (the property of certain chemical elements to exist in more than one distinct form) or parallax (the same object appearing differently according to various perspectives). for the reproductive organs and their functions. instead of serving her himself. Types of discourses amalgamated in Ulysses (excerpted from "Calypso"): . capable of self-reflection. Bloom and Stephen shut Molly out. who had previously disparaged Stephen an "intellectual" lying inebriated on the floor of a brothel discovers in him a "teacher" in a catechism scene: language of an analytic sort is a self-sufficient game.In Ulysses Joyce wished to display moral. in the moral sphere. Edited by John Coyle. lack of capital letters and punctuation reveals her lack of knowledge concerning the laws and rules of the man-built world through abstractions. Molly's interior monologue of run-on sentences. of shaping his own self in a story of his one-day roaming through Dublin. The psycho-physical parallelism of Wundtian psychology. and. bracketing reality out of its questions and answers. the will to life/ the will to power. The novel has an encyclopaedic character. "Ithaca" and "Penelope") trace the "Nostos" (return plot) of the male spirit reaching anagnorisis. theology. The last three episodes ("Eumaeus". and rises from a trader's mode of thought to command of language: he will become a narrator. recognition of true values and abandoning the principle of reality. while they achieve communion as a sort of mutual exchange of identity: Blephen and Stoom. left to her reminiscensing of love affairs.
. marginalisation.. the segregationist and eugenist ideology of both doctors and parliamentarians concur to ally science and politics against the victims of social poverty. with a smart vee . in which royalty is supposed to drive by. the ethnic conflicts it had generated (everybody's hatred of inoffensive Miss Kilman. ITHACANS VOW PEN IS CHAMP. a neat blouse of electric blue . the inefficiency of the political and governing class allow history to steal into the stream of consciousness of the characters through the back door of perception and memory. And a pound and a half of Denny's sausages (free direct speech: reproduced exactly without quotation marks) Doubly-oriented speech (which refers to another speech act): the discourse of cheep women's magazines in "Nausicaa": Gerty was dressed simply but with the instinctive taste of a votary of Dame Fashion . war etc... The novel also betrays the indubitable influence of .. (interior monologue) . and an the advertising skywriting of an aeroplane. their victims (Septimus Smith's nervous breakdown because of a shell shock experience). Would she buy it too. Or the style of American tabloid journalism applied to an episode of the classical Antiquity: SOPHIST WALLOPS HAUGHTY HELEN SQUARE ON PROBOSCIS . colonisation. calling the items from a slip in her hand ? (free indirect speech) . Traumatic memories of the recently concluded war... Virginia Woolf Mrs Dalloway By shifting focus from one centre of consciousness to another in the opening of the novel the narrative voice focalizes through characters their various reactions to two events which polarise their attention: the passage of car with drawn blinds. Woods his name is ... simply because she was German and her delirium of persecution as a consequence). The insensitivity of traditionalist doctors such as Holmes and Bradshaw. The poverty of outward events and the richness of inner life of the mind are thus pitied against each other. SPARTANS GNASH MOLARS.. the decay of the Empire. the eugenists' project of putting away the victims of the war and sterilise the slums in order to secure the health of the nation.
the individual is kept under permanent surveillance through technology and overt policing. Woolf allows a woman to stand as the more advanced critical consciousness in the novel and as the survivor. Virginia Woolf herself admitted that one could not be young and sensitive at a time like that and yet remain indifferent to what was going on around ("The Leaning Tower"). betray symptoms of sexual repression. the autonomous self of the artist creating self-standing worlds like God sounded queer under the emerging threat of totalitarianism which stream-lined the individual or simply stamped him out of existence. The ego-centred narrative. Both Clarissa and Peter. In Orwell's dystopic work it is the whole of civilization that is threatened with extinction: . The literary works of high modernism looked now like as many meaningless manipulations of words. and both reach the stage where the repressed contents of their unconscious reach the light of the conscious ego. Economic depression. . while Clarissa had cherished in her youth dreams of social resistance and reform. Miss Kilman. the man she had loved in her youth and abandoned. individuals are completely estranged from one another in . news of totalitarian politics in the Soviet Union and Germany. the power system is trying to keep up appearances through a parody of protection and of family: the dictator who has everybody being observed through the tele-screen is called "Big Brother". As Septimus had distinguished himself in the war. George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four Evgeny Zamyatin created the Russian dystopia by suggesting the disappearance of the free individual in the totalitarian age already from the title: We. However. being diverted by a traumatic experience from war propaganda.psychoanalysis in the construction of characters: Septimus suffers from war-induced neurosis. from defence psychosis. the Civil War in Spain awaken writers to a sense of their civic responsibility in the thirties. Clarissa Dalloway. from a delirium of persecution. George Orwell ("Inside the Whale") finds public causes more pressing than philosophical and aesthetic issues.
. 6. The babble of discourses in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man/ Ulysses. .the basic agents of civilization . Joyce. . the protagonist.and hate-world. He tries to resist the pressure of the regime. history is constantly being rewritten. . Ulysses and Nineteen Eighty-Four: two versions of dystopic history. seeking salvation in memory and writing . Voice and point of view in Mrs Dalloway. 4. or. or. Essay topics: 1. and gender politics. economic and technological impoverishment is counterbalanced by ideological propaganda. Woolf. the way to render reality and history meaningful. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Mythic parallelism in Joyce. language is "pruned" and reduced to an artificial idiom which block self-expressionism as well as communication . 5. Social life and relationships resemble the surrogate food and synthetic clothes: artificial. 2.but the monstrous pressure the totalitarian system puts on him empties him out of any trait of personality and humanity. society is governed by psychotic individuals mastered by the will to command and to dominate. censorship is internalised. The nations loses its memory living in chimerical present open to any version in the future. the individuals confessing to imaginary crimes under psychological pressure or torture.the slogan. the Making of the Modernist Artist. . inhuman. . is the narrative vehicle taking the reader through an entropic plot of attempted redemption and final fall (the reverse of the Biblical script). 3. Winston Smith.
contradicting each other inventing something to prove that they exist. They are waiting for a mysterious Mr Godot (God. constructs himself through a public form of objectified selfhood. are thrown onto an almost empty. to the values he introduces into the world. the sheep. his messenger who has no message to deliver. (1957). he is free to choose and he is also responsible for the choices he makes. The identity of Racine is the totality of his plays. But there is the auditorium surrounding them.. the human creative project.. The Boy cannot explain why: there is no divine justice in the world. Even if their waiting is pointless. making words. They get the double visit of the Boy. even of a minimalist plot. because there is no infinite. a pseudo-couple of literary tramps. an overbearing squire who plays God with his servant. including that of exterminating him through exploitation and cruelty. meaningless (waiting for . They confuse Godot with Pozzo. Man only exists to the extent that he fulfils some project. Existentialism Is a Sort of Humanism (1946) As humanity was trying to recoil from the horrors of the recently concluded war. self-reflexive (Vladimir and Estragon define their role-playing as popular art: pantomime.Literature and Culture 7. perfect consciousness to conceive it. The Post-War Age I.P. Existence precedes essence: man is nothing in the beginning. He acquires an identity (essence) according to his choices which engage other human beings. And they are talking to each other. circus. man is thrown into a world which is not of his making and not even of his understanding. A universe in which there is no a priori good or values. on rules to legitimize his behaviour. Vladimir and Estragon. Man's life in an absurd world is purposeless. Man defines himself in relation to others: the other is indispensable to his own image of himself. a climate set in of radical distrust of the values of the western civilization which had proved inefficient in avoiding a world cataclysm. exposing him to the whims of his absolutist power over him. According to Heidegger and Sartre. music hall. stripped stage with one tree in a desolate landscape for scenery. Minimalist and absurdist drama. asking each other questions. they have a sense of fulfilled duty against all odds: We have kept our appointment. and role-playing. In a godless universe. Existentialism J. waiting). Lucky. a collision of levels deliberately subverting the modernist high art/ low art divide). although their speech is a mixture of the formal and the minimalist speech. Sartre. . Estragon wonders if God sees him: there is no telling under the sky of deus absconditus (hidden God). Gott: English and German for God) who never shows up. The modern parody of the Greek drama Messenger reverses religious symbolism: although the Boy minds the goats and his brother. man cannot fall back on pre-existing truths and values. it is the latter God punishes. Waiting for Godot. Samuel Beckett. An anti-play. that gives them substance. with no plot. It is conversation.
Illusiory community. recording CDs of which none can be said to be original. multiplying already authored icons. like actors in a play who know the plot but not the cast. Jeanette Winterson: Boating for Beginners.. rewriting the already written. exhibiting.POSTSTRUCTURALISM . biography. The age of television and interfaced computer networks. blend and clash . pastiche. language games. parody. exposing its made-up nature. . none of them original. objects from the everyday world. who has no personal passions. being instead armed with an "immense dictionary" (language and cultural resources). discussing literary conventions. body technology. Cosmetic surgery. electronic control of reproduction and birth. Hyperreality: reality is already saturated with signs. . of communally accepted generic conventions. cyber eroticism collapse the boundary between the human and the machine. parentless material. psychology.intertextual. as reality itself imitates the icons disseminated by the audio-visual and fashion industry.. The concepts of originality and subjectivity yield to inscription. Features of postmodernist literature: . An empty culture of images and simulacra. commenting on the text. within museum space. The Author-God descends to the status of scriptor. art and the media cannot be said to represent reality. aestheticized.metafictional (directly addressing the reader. Black . including characters who are aware of being just textual figures). as the interpretation of a text which is "a multidimensional space in which a variety of writings. for instance. calls for a reader who is himself "the space on which all quotations are inscribed"). the virtual reality of anonymous. William Golding reinscribing and subverting Ballantine's Coral Island in Lord of the Flies. Literature is a matter of codes (Barthes. humours. feelings. a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture. etc. intertextuality (horizontal relationship: allusion to and quotation of other texts) and architextuality (vertical links from the literary discourse to non-literary discourses). The crisis of the idea of the avant-garde. as signs concatenate and produce themselves. only connected by an abstract network of representations. R. Written on Her Body) . S/Z). in which people are strangers to one another. A text reading another text.transhistoricity (bringing together characters from different times: Angela Carter. Barthes: The Death of the Author: (and birth of the reader. Human operators trigger processes they can no longer control. virtual reality or cyberspace whose information multiples of its own accord.
not just one. diary within a diary ( The Blue Notebook ). Reading [. . Essay topics: . End of doctrine (no universal truth) and birth of discourse (institutional discourses take material forms: lifestyles.] in a postmodernist key.. In The French Lieutenant's Woman.character construction obeys the logic of alterity rather than that of identity: they keep mutating. . gender roles. . John Fowles lays bare the discrepancy between Victorian lifestyles and cultural icons: the language of moral and religious piety versus the reality of business contract marriages or brothels. ethnic differences) . identity.de-doxifying principle (everything is culturally constructed: history. For instance. according to various plots. fiction versus diary ( The Blue Notebook). (pick up a novel and illustrate one of the salient features listed above) . social and political utopias) .from modernist phenomenology of perception (there are as many perspectives on the action as the number of characters) to phenomenology of language: different languages construct different worlds. multiple. real life as source for fiction and the public selling and distribution of books ("Source" and "Money": the narrator's experiential sources of the novel entitled "Frontiers of War" and the financial transactions of its distribution in The Black Notebook).Venus) . novel within a novel ( The Shadow of the Third in The Yellow Notebook). Doris Lessing playing with conventions in The Golden Notebook: realist novel ( Free Women) versus psychological novel ( The Shadow of the Third in the The Yellow Notebook).. Three plots and endings in The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles.de-naturalization (there are multiple worlds.distrust of master narratives (totalizing schemes. such as progress. institutional practices). parallel plots according to parallel worlds accessed through the character's different choices).
Early modernity had started with utopia. paternal. which cut across it and through it in a vast stereophony. Vattimo ( The End of Modernity 1985 and The Transparent Society. The liberation of differences. hegemony. cultural languages (what language is not ?). moral. his inscription is ludic. . echoes. the hybridization of discourses cutting across disciplinary borders (literary.. The intertextual in which every text is held. antecedent or contemporary. He becomes a paper-author.. structure (centre versus margins). rewrite. aesthetics and cultures. paint the already painted etc. Baudrillard speaks of "transaesthetique". autonomous subject. The I which writes the text is never more than a paper I. the demise of dominant ideologies allowed of fragmentation to set in. the pluralisation of society rendered any single utopian project irrelevant. The aesthetic sphere undergoes de-differentiation: the implosion of the aesthetic into the social field and into the economic (the commodification of art). FICTION John Fowles . The French Lieutenant's Woman: Intertext and Architext (horizontal links to other fictional texts and vertical links to non-literary discourses). The global system of values fell apart into rival ethics. Deconstructionist philosophy explodes the hierarchical categorical systems of metaphysics. Postmodernism I. no longer privileged. The Text is "woven entirely with citations. . 1971). Literature and Culture 8. references. philosophical) or the nature/culture divide. is not to be confused with some origin of the text (. The poststructuralist (deconstructionist) phase. stability and determinacy of meaning. If he is a novelist. scientific. A work of art is no longer seen as the original creation of a god-like Author but as a knot in a field of interactions designated by Roland Barthes as "play" ("De l'oeuvre au texte"/ From Work to Text.) " The Author may come back in the text as a "guest".. 1992): The disintegration of Fascist and Marxist meta-narratives in post-war society. he is inscribed in the novel like one of his characters. Postmodernity replaces it with the heterotopy of coexisting different cultures. G. it itself being the text-between of another text. Artists multiply already authored icons. dismissing the myth of origin. figured in the carpet. aletheological.
joining Charles on a train. In this case. is first deployed and subsequently critiqued. according to an overall scheme made available by Victorian fiction which the pluralistic vision of postmodernism . The chapters are preceded by quotes from nineteenth-century texts. who is tied to a conventional Victorian beauty and a banker's daughter. an impresario watching his characters making their a choices from a distance. He enters the field of a generic space . A quote from Hardy's "The Musical Box" introduces a chapter in which Ernestina is presented as a Victorian doll. A special case of Intertextuality (co-presence of two texts) or Hypertextuality (adaptation of an anterior text). dedications. for the intrusion of the real author speaking in his own voice in Chapter 13 is the occasion for a comment on the nature and purpose of his own writing. The author turns into an impresario orchestrating baseless illusions. 3. through a marriage contract redacted in the language of business and financial arrangements. He dismisses the assumptions of the realist school: that the Author stands next to God. obeying in a mechanical way social conventions and customs. Ernestina Freeman. one can speak of self-referentiality as well. but. Paratextuality: the relation between the text and its paratexts: prefaces. He becomes a role-shifter. That is just one more convention because even autobiography is a fictionalized. Fowles is apparently writing a historical novel. The quay is "redolent of seven hundred years of English history".the Victorian novel . The plot branches into three trajectories. Marx or socio-medical texts (1849 City Medical Report) are interwoven in the narrative structure of a novel oriented to the cultural construction of Victorian England rather than the materiality of its historical life. with previous texts. Fowles strokes the key of intrusion and of revolt against paternal authority. Charles. epigraphs etc. Her relationship to Charles is indirectly commented on by a citation from Arnold's poem about a similar alienation of the lovers parted by "the unplumbed salt estranging sea" etc.The French Lieutenant's Woman. he establishes a relationship with anterior representations of the age in Victorian literature. while having an affair with a passionate woman and also a social outcast. belonging to Darwin. that the action and characters are life-like. transformed and multiplied according to the contemporary poetics drawing on the theories of Roland Barthes and the narrative practices of Alain Robbe-Grillet and other nouveaux-romanciers. The novel is constituted through what Gerard Genette (Palimpsestes 1982) calls "transtextuality": all that which puts one text in relation with other texts: 1. The conventional plot of a young man. Metatextuality: the critical relation between one text and another. romanced report on one's past. instead of appealing to documents or other records of the past. 2. including the siege of the Spanish Armada during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and the rebellion of the Duke of Monmouth against his father.with a subversive purpose. Non fictional texts. Charles II. as the text plays with the conventions of a realist novel whose action is set in Victorian England at Lyme Regis. Sarah Woodruff. He rewrites what is already written. a guest in his own novel. being omniscient and decreeing.
The novel becomes a machine for generating interpretations. the threat of reversion to a chaos of the elements reflect on recent history. including the critical reception of The French Lieutenant's Woman. Finally. In Chapter 13. nonconformist perspective. main theme. the denial of the . The disintegration of metaphysics. His novel is a generic mix: novel. Mantissa: a brilliant jeu d'esprit.can accommodate within one single novel: the conventional ending with marriage bells. In the romantic key. The murderousness of nature. beats or even flowers (To Paint a Water-Lily) whose roots go deep into the mud which has incorporated the dead corpses of the fight for survival are counterbalanced by the foregrounded language and form of the poem (The Thought-Fox) as the redeeming force of poetry in a world which has gone astray. Fowles reveals his deliberate play with generic conventions. Architextuality (awareness of genre. Charles choosing the properly behaved Ernestina and her father's money. Sarah chooses to remain single and independent. POETRY Ted Hughes The Hawk in the Rain (1957). from the end-of-the century new woman and aestheticist. The images of birds of prey. concealed book of essays. Cave Birds (1981). teleology or ideological agenda. This is an example of critifiction: a critique of his novel's criticism in fictional form. It has no basic design. a satirical onslaught on poststructuralist notions which had become stereotypes. generic taxonomies). marrying Sarah. autobiography. its bloodymindedness. Crow (1970). 4. Lupercal (1960) Written in the existentialist vein. Charles follows the promptings of his heart.
papers is the material signifier of man feeling lost in a society emptied of its religious. his body being served up without any redeeming effect. the ideas of divine Creation and the principles of unique origin and hierarchy. a demon of genetic energy. The victimiser may become the next victim. DRAMA Harold Pinter The Dumb Waiter (1957) Two hit-men are waiting in the basement for their next assignment while senseless deliver food orders are coming through a speaking tube. The poems demythologize master narratives. of job. the ignorance as to the circumstances and purpose of one's existence within society belong to the stock in trade of absurdist drama. A warning that participation in destructive actions can backfire. the principle of indeterminacy. Apple Tragedy). the heroic tradition of the antiquity. a healed and redeemed social order. Inherited narratives are turned upside down: God is dull and impotent. reference. The Caretaker (1960). . The silver-forks-bourgeois-drawing-room has been displaced by the lower-class "kitchen-sink" decor with the tramp figure at the centre of the action. intelligence or purpose ( A Childish Prank. The early. an archive of infinite forms that get replayed ad infinitum. A parody of the Eucharist for one of them is going to be the very next victim.cultural myths of the West. The atmosphere of mysterious menace. the chivalrous order of the Middle Ages. while Crow. the absence of meaningful action. existentialist or absurdist stance. takes his place in a universe without design. metaphysical and cultural roots. Complete de(con)struction is needed for a new constructivism. Crow is like a black whole into which the western civilization has collapsed: he is destroyer and victim. Mick trying to pass his brother to Davies and bullying the tramp to defend his brother's honour but in fact because his own had been impaired are parodies of such "care taking" in alienated societies as comes closer to practices related to funerals. St George and the Black Beast he is fighting. The loss of identification papers. credentials. The institutions meant to rehabilitate their patients' mental health but instead drive them crazy. Aston bringing destitute Davies home only to be derided by him as "nutty".
The role-reversals. . the absence of enlightenment in an international world of butchers-criminals.lighting the kettle in The Dumb Waiter . Nicolas. fighting one another..suggest the absence of transcendental values. her own marriage goes to pieces. the lack of plot resolution (the curtain falls on a scene of inconclusive relationships between Ruth and her new male company).The Postmodernist Trans-Text (identify one of the cases listed above and apply to one primary source mentioned in the course set reading). ironically named Victor. War and Literature. a professor of philosophy in an American university.. experiencing the loss of family affection and even of the traditional bonds between father and sons or between brothers. Individual responsibility and resistance do score a moral victory and remain the solution to the alternative of political totalitarianism. . to his father's home in London. returns with his wife. to torture and cruelty (including the rape of his wife and the execution of his son) instead of the final drink offered to the convicts before the departure to the place of execution. A Deconstructionist Approach to . Max.The Homecoming (1964) Teddy. Lenny and Joey. his brother Sam. the interrogator of an imaginary carcereal regime. the demise of philosophy in a society which is no longer grounded in a set of values or communal truths bespeak the deconstructionist phase of Pinter's career. Ruth starts flirting with all of them. Pinter is interested in the psychology of those who accept to be the instruments of evil: Nicolas defends himself by speaking in the first person plural and insisting on his not being alone but part of a system. such as the men lighting their cigars . a driver. shifting through female positions as would-be mother-wife-prostitute. Max's other sons make up a male company suffering from the absence of mothers and wives. treats his prisoner. a retired butcher. Essay topics: . Those who fall out of the network of power are alone and eliminated. Ruth. One for the Road (1984) Pinter opens his play to the political in the context of the postmodernist return to history and society in the eighties. Symbolical gestures. (optional primary source) . Teddy decides to return to America alone. Cultural icons of human entropy. As she seems to offer them the alternative of a family of sorts.
the emergence of a postmodern. the global spread of neoliberalism. . makes room for a renewed interest in the historical. The new historian's concern is "not a decision.The exclusive concern with textuality. the history of the Enlightenment. Alternative histories attempt to uncover what official history has left out. and one more characteristic is the presence of the self-reflexive commentary on the nature and means of historical representation. postcolonial. a battle. Genealogy. totalizing myths of the Enlightenment. In a word. Homi Bhabha ( The Location of Culture). social and political conditions which shape identities and individual subjectivities. Peter Middleton and Tim Woods (Literatures of Memory: History. but the reversal of a relationship of forces. with linguistic structure. a treaty. anti-foundationalism. has excluded the contribution of alchemy to the development of physics and chemistry because alchemy was considered a quack science. an ideology based on the cult of reason. The philosophical source is Michel Foucault's concept of "genealogy" ("Nietzsche. such as scientific progress. . perspective). ideologically-determined.Literature and Culture 9. the rise of multiculturalism. later replaced with "cultural materialism". and postnational era. the grand narratives of nation and empire. "New Historicism". History-making and interpretation are always dependent on the power system and the sort of knowldege it legitimises or invalidates. a fraud. For instance. silenced or marginalised. The 1980s: the post-deconstructionist age. Time and Space in Postwar Writing. The Historical Turn. and is more interested in who has or had the power to compose "truths" about it. .1971). the cult of reason) had coincided with the eruption of "a range of other dissonant. The collapse of meta-narratives (the emancipatory. proceeds on two basic assumptions: the historicity of texts (they are culture-specific) and the textuality of history (we only have access to past events through documents which do not convey the unadulterated truth about them but a certain. a reign. speech and events of that other time without distorting their significance. whereas historical realist fiction tends to assume that the literary narrative has a special power to present the past in a language of the present and give direct access to the thoughts. 2000:21): "Postmodern historical fiction is unconvinced that there is a single unitary truth of the past waiting to be recovered. the usurpation of power. the appropriation of a vocabulary turned against those who had once used it". These novels written against historical orthodoxies (official historiography) are also called "post-historical". the civilising mission. History"." . a concept evolved by Louis Montrose ( Professing the Renaissance: The Poetics and Politics of Culture) and Stephen Greenblatt (Shakespearean Negotiations). postindustrial. the idea that the discourse of social norms and values is the outcome of power relations. That is why Linda Hutcheon has . even dissident histories and voices".
the decision of the independent state to proceed to secession on account of religious differences had further contributed to historical uprooting. John Fowles' 1969 The French Lieutenant's Woman. of displacements in time. Fiction. the mohajirs. a lie serving their political agenda. The name is given an invented etymology: Peccavistan from "Peccavi. the protagonist. a fiction. 1988). the overwhelming sense of guilt generated by the moral constraints of their religion makes the three sisters hide away from society and assume a collective responsibility for transgressive sexual conduct. translated into English in the late 19th century. The historical trauma is the effect of colonization. They are spectral. The "truth" about Pakistan is what its leaders claim to be the case. He is the offspring of an illegitimate relationship between one of the Shakill sisters and one of the departing British soldiers who had left behind an India split into two states: India and Pakistan. made up of the alphabetic letters designating the tribes that went into its making). but. marked for the religious origin of the Prophet's flight to Mecca. the sisters' decision to throw a party in honour of the British officers in order to enjoy the last of their financial wreck discovered after their father's death. the school of Latin-American magic realism (Gabriel García Márquez. widening into allegorical and symbolic patterns. The split soul generated by religious fundamentalism (Islam) is thus doubly manifest: on the one hand. Identity. the child experiences the world as labyrinth. both individual and collective. Theory. History becomes a question of successive reinscriptions on an ideological basis: Who commanded the job of rewriting history ? . had fuelled the decadent spirit of the age. insomniac. The figure of the child (see also the "midnight children" born on the day India was granted independence) is emblematic of historical uprooting. Carlos Fuentes. in fact. at the same time. On the other.labelled them "historiographic metafiction" (A Poetics of Postmodernism: History. is revealed to be a question of fictions. parodic and playful and generically mixed narratives.Urdu and English. a confused. dizzy. Pakistan chooses ideology over the natural continuity with the historical past. The hedonistic ethos of Omar Khayyam's Rubaiyat. ideological constructs (Pakistan is an acronym. They are novels against rather than about history. Shame The implied author speaking in his own voice introduces Omar Khayyam. Prototypical models: Jorge Luis Borges. In its fanatic opposition to India. . Not knowing the identity of his real mother. The narrative is written counter-historically. question and reverse old received versions in irreverent. In what languages ? . to the compromise of the idea of the nation and its historical identity. day-dreaming obese. Time is measured according to the Quran.The immigrants. In England. Salman Rushdie. These novels point to multiple truths in their histories of the past. Isabel Allende. both . I have Sind" attributed to an English coloniser. as an anti-hero. as the past is felt to be haunting the present and therefore in need of being exorcised. living in isolation and shame of the people outside his prison-home for no fault of his own.
although one travelled less distance than then the other. The characters are based on historical personages: Raza Hyder and Iskander Harappa stand for Mohammad Zia and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto engaged in a fierce struggle over power during the 1970s and 1980s. "Makes it pretty easy for you." is the obvious criticism.. on the dilemma of writing meta-historiographic fiction: "I. too. the past is recreated on Rani Harappa's eighteen embroidered shawls. and. on the generic definition of his protagonist (anti-hero). to dig themselves in. to deny that Indian centuries lay just beneath the surface of Pakistani Standard Time. often. My dictator will be toppled by goblinish means. hiding behind the myth of the universally guilty system can escape the examination of his individual responsibility." . the obscured world forcing its way back through what-had-been-imposed. I mustn't forget I'm only telling a fairy-story..(. Graham Swift . it is reduced to warfare whose traces have been left behind in the very crust of the earth .imported tongues. well. History is not a grand narrative of scientific and social progress through ages. while Bilkis Hyder is vanishing under her veils. why would not the author feel free to mix up fact and fiction ? In his version. on the hybrid realist-fictional status of his writing. But add. to continue. even if it does sound a bit peevish: "You try and get rid of a dictator some time. Out of This World A novel about recent history which explodes the notion of history as the teleological praxis of self-conscious agents. "a picture full of irreconcilable elements". power is everywhere demonized and the individual. the past was rewritten. "a failure of the dreaming mind". how to deal with change.) To build Pakistan it was necessary to cover up Indian history. and history renders judgement impossible. face the problem of history: what to retain. Well. One might as well say that it is also in their nature to begin. It is possible to see the subsequent history of Pakistan as a duel between two layers of time. with absurd optimism. that it is in the nature of tyrannies to end. how to hold on to what memory insists on relinquishing. . The first-person narrator comments on his condition. and I agree. what to dump. The hermeneutics of suspicion affects all historical figures. If Pakistan is a "palimpsest". to be preserved by greater powers than their own. repressed womanhood assumes uncanny forms: Hyder's daughter metamorphoses periodically into a beast. there was nothing else to be done. regimes and events in the same way. The critique of New Historicism coming from liberal humanism in Malcolm Bradbury's Doctor Criminale: the extreme relativism generated by the poststructuralist decree of the death of man. art. The dictator is murdered by Omar's "mothers" as a wish-fulfilment strategy on the part of the author or an injunction to an imaginary reader who experiences dictatorship: How does a dictator fall ? There is an old saw which states." .
constructed affair. Surpassing both. he sees himself uprooted from the soil of his home. born to an Irish Catholic family.. There is no historical change in a world which is saturated with signs. a figure of the truth-telling child. in Wallis' case. Both life and history are a mediated. photo-journalism. in the obsolete idiom of that age." Peter Ackroyd.since prehistoric times. alienates him from his family. His instrument is no . a poet of the late 17th century. a matter of simulation ("the camera first. Thomas Rowley. to stare. painted at different times. then the event"). His identity.) So that it's no longer easy to distinguish the real from the fake. to stroke your jaw. to assert his loyalty to his language. to light your cigarette or toss it aside. In his poem entitled "Digging" (Death of a Naturalist.. in just that way ? You learnt it from the movies. authenticity is permanently frustrated: Philip discovers. Catholics and Protestants. shaped by education. written by her assistant. on closer examination. Charles. Seamus Heaney A Nobel-award winner. in whose name he had published poems written however. in which people think and behave as if programmed by the media and fashion industry: "And how did you learn to walk. English. History is also de-naturalised. undertakes to find out the truth about Chatterton and to write his true biography. or the world on the screen from the world off it. according to the expectations of the readership (at that moment. Edward. His life in British Ulster exposed his to religious and political conflicts: between the Irish and the English. as Charles remarks. They go to Chatterton's Bristol. The painting itself. Charles's friend. His revisiting of the past are meant to reveal the unreliability of the cultural artefacts which mediate our access to it. Chatterton himself had invented a monk of the fifteenth century. or someone else). is exposed as distortion of reality through the selection. as in Andersen's tale. shut up inside the house and looking out of the window at his father toiling outside. thirsting after imaginative heirlooms of the past after having swallowed too much of the dried-up. Writing is never completely original but a matter of "new and happy combinations" of old stuff. rationalistic spirit of the Enlightenment). discovers a portrait of Chatterton. nothing is original or spontaneous. Chatterton The novel is one of Ackroyd's almost manneristic exercises in the reinscription of history. "everybody copies". unlike Wallis's painting of the death scene. a nineteenth century poet and novelist. His 10-year-old son. he prefers to defer to "the government of the tongue". The landing on the moon was carefully planned to serve some propagandistic agenda. Merk. a living man (whether George Meredith. looks like a palimpsest: it contains the residue of several different images. in a library. The search for truth. A contemporary hack writer. 1966). which finally dissolve into clots of colour. events being now "hyperreality". shows the poet at a mature age. which. origin. known to have committed suicide when only seventeen years old. A painter's model for a death scene will always be someone else. her own "autobiography" was a fiction. Philip. dismisses the portrait as a "fake". the assistant of a famous recently dead painter claims to have painted his latest works. the original being lost in the abyss of time. but the manuscripts they find turn out to be fakes. cuts and mixing of the empirical stuff. Armstrong's message to the world had been rehearsed. that the best-selling novels of Harriet Scrope were the plagiarised work of another novelist (Harrison Bentley). (. The very means of what ought to have conveyed the bare truth.
shaved. covered in feathers and tar and exposed to public shame for having dating English soldiers. Frantz Fanon: Black Skin. in the poet's mind. presenting to speaker's view the disheartening image of atavistic energies cyclically irrupting even among civilised peoples: "the exact. Anti-Colonialism in the 50s. Black skin splits under the racist gaze revealing signs of bestiality. congers. The image of a female body. tribal revenge" illo tempore as well as in contemporary Ulster. The bodies of the victims of sacrificial rituals or tribal punishment. Multiculturalism. The minorities were granted access to regimes of representation in the political journalism. Multiculturalism in educational reform was seen as a solution to racial conflicts fuelled by the government's policing of black neighbourhoods in the 70s and early 80s and the negative depiction of immigrants in the media. 1952. II. Comment on the symbolic function of the fictional elements). (choose one of the literary works mentioned in the bibliography.longer the space but a pen: his selfhood has been disengaged from biology and family history and. The Bog People. North is a volumes of poems drawing on the photographs published by Danish archaeologist P. He chooses to be "a feeder-off battlefields" .. White Masks. drowned as a punishment of adultery. Benefiting . Resistance to colonialism among the colonized people consequent on the rise of third-worlds in opposition to super-powers. The undifferentiated white body is presented as the norm.V. Black artists contest negative media stereotypes with positive representations of colour-people. Literature and Culture 10. preserved in the Danish and Irish bogs. The Academic Novel. Postcolonial Theory in the 1970s. violence. to meditate on history rather than engage in action. He can see the justice of his "wronged people" but overt conflict would make one look like primitive Tarzan "swinging into the Bastille". instead. university campus and art. Clob in his book. I. Essay topic: The fictional-factual model of history in . irrationality. and identify historical and invented personages and events. Resistance to colonialism in the 50s. Stuart Hall: "New Ethnicities" 1988.the Ulster troubles beginning in 1969 -. the similar one of Irish women. bearing traces of the unnatural suppression of life in a young human being. set Seamus meditating on the victims of sectarian killing in Ulster during his own time.. shaped by culture. History no longer means change and improvement but analogy.
arguing that the colonial encounter undermines the clear-cut distinction between East and West. he is silenced. atoms. He is ousted from the order of language. nigger. just the name "Kurtz". black cultural studies critics focused on the ethnic cultural aspect denying the existence of essential biological differences among races. And all the time I nothing (. The narrator is an immigrant who is trying to mimic the imperial model. Joseph sees himself alienated into "masks" by the guardians policing his room: "And don't you think. a black man. and reduce the world to one blinding colour..from the encounter with the poststructuralist crtitique of western metaphysics and hegemonic systems. hyphenated identity. has taken a black mistress to himself and refuses to return to England. like the colour "black" ? Conrad break he down to what he is.. the transnationalist and regionalist distribution networks..' he said. just a sound. but you know you is nothing. charged with a new meaning. The nation is no longer the centre of political force. A black teenager.. metropole and periphery. colonizer and colonized. however. 'that when Marlow say nothing about Kurtz in the end. Young members of various ethnic minorities meet in London trying to get work. trans-cultural forms constitutive of plural cultural selves. Homi Bhabha evolved a psychoanalytic mode of theory in the late 1980s and early 1990s. migrancy. The Intended (1991). Joseph. a notion. a rumour. It refers to the existence of multinational corporations.) But all the time they see you as animal. riot. because Kurtz became nothing ? He became a word. only image and legend in their minds. the global flows of people and commercial goods. An in-between zone is created for the emregence of new. The global or new era coming after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the end of the Cold War. his speech being reduced to the repetitive words "the horror. Themes of postcolonial novels: diaspora. a dream. we are now in a realm of empire." . He dismisses his friend's mythic interpretatiton calling his attention to racial prejudices: the white light of England and the Thames represents the norm which wants "to blot out the black . He moved away from the nationalist. IV. the horror". Globalization. David Dabydeen. hybridity. nothing. money or even access to public representation. the mobility of labour. third-worldist view. is because nothing is left to say. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri: Empire (2000). A novel written with Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in mind. of humanity. hybrid identities. Post-Racism. III. who assimilates the western critique of the colonized people. atoms. undertakes a critique of Conrad'd novel in terms similar to Edward Said's (Orientalism) and Franz Fanon's." As Kurtz has descended among the Africans.
now we are Nice. in his novel. The low costs of production attract movie-makers from the West who make local space (Budapest) feel alien: "Now we are Paris. Malcolm Bradbury. The consumerist boom did away with major differences among people in point of dress. the international scholarly conference is the occasion for modern pilgrimages of acdemics whose pretentiousness is often the target of a satirical design. 1957) has almost vanished. The monuments of the recent past had been emptied out even of the alternative value they had been ascribed: the myths of political totalitarianism. now we are London. goes east after the rise of the Iron Curtain to produce a television documentary on a celebrity of the former communist bloc: Doctor Criminale. tradition and history. now we are Sydney. Consequently. examines the reverse. Room at the Top.) after World War II led to the democratization of the higher education which became the factor of upward mobility. See the course-book on V. The academic novel has replaced the class novel. social assistance. Essay topic: . now we are Moscow. unemployment. The traditional class system based on status and economic distinctions has given way to a system of four professional classes (from high-skilled to low-skilled) . Australia. Francis Jay.and an underclass of unskilled workers. Main representatives: David Lodge and Malcolm Bradbury. Naipaul's The Mimic Men. A study in the imaginative construction of modern nations less with political boundaries than around a common language. The character types are mainly distinguished by their allegiance to schools of thought and political commitments.S. the ownership of homes and cars. He is informed of the grievances of easterners over the loss of their national identity during the years of foreign occupation and the analogous threat under the new conditons of globalization. The academic novel. Never of course Budapest". Doctor Criminale (1992).Benedict Anderson: Imagined Communities (1991). The emergence of the welfare state (the caring society providing for education. the fiction depicting class struggle and upward mobility through the archetypal plot of a man of poor means seducing a woman with inherited wealth and family connections (See John Braine. A young English journalist.the salaried middle-class. health. etc.
icons disseminated by the media. Constructing Postmodernism (Routledge. reproducing models. reality itself is hyperrealistic. presents and futures. Literary works construct world-models. comment. Tom Stoppard. Reality is the reduplication of the real through another reproductive medium. Fictional reality is heterogeneous. 1976). Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."Mimicry and the Cultural Encounter between colonial and metropolitan in V. Rosencrantz and . The question of authorship and history is brought down to mere play-acting. 1992). The classical representation was a matter of interpretation." Literature and Culture 11. reduced to the illusory space of the stage. Postmodernism: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Hyper-realism of Simulation. metamorphic. Different languages construct different worlds. . allusions. reduplication through the popular media). The contemporary world is a radically abstract place from which reality has absented itself and all is simulacrum (copies without an original. fluid. Brian McHale. "The Hyper-realism of Simulation" (in Symbolic Exchange and Death/ L'Echange symbolique et la mort. Naipaul's The Mimic Men. the real is volatilized. signs with no referent in a supposedly "real" world which might escape codification. Postmodernism is characterised by ontological uncertainty. such as photography. other texts. echoes of other characters. Revisionary Lectures on Historical Codes of Representation. the collapse of the boundary between fiction and reality. From medium to medium.S. scenarios. . a trope on the apocalypse. space is represented as multiple and time as reversible or branching into multiple pasts. In postmodernism. Jean Baudrillard. keeping a distance from the objective reality. The postmodernist literary space is a map of its imminent end. MODULE 2. becoming an allegory of death. made up of discursive fragments.
She decides to get someone to murder her according to her dream vision of the end of the world and of her own death on November 5. nobody had had the necessary hardware before . As she reduces life to sex. an American journalist afflicted with cancer and suffering from a writer's block. Mark Asprey. she has managed to ruin even the unscrupled gigolos. like Asprey whom he envies. Violent winds have killed people and destroyed trees. while to Guy Clinch. . the actors cannot suspend their disbelief. the king's agents of destruction are turned into selfless actors who play parts in the King Claudius's script of which they have no knowledge and get executed according to Hamlet's written warrant. no power over their own lives. She has learned the lesson of the world. On November 5. as the space of simulacrum is reality-proof. she plays the whorish." Martin Amis. It is here that Sam meets the mysterious Nicola Six.Guildenstern. an upper-class banker. whose name suggests the Beast of the Apocalypse (the figure six and the association of her name with "Old Nick". by allowing himself to be caught in a web of textuality. sets out to write a ready-made story using the diaries and closely observing it come to pass. the Devil). Keith Talent.. Whatever is translated to a medium of reproduction loses its relevance to a real world. she poses as a timid virgin and an expert in the high culture which he admires. reads an advertisement in the New York Review of Books which gives him the opportunity to exchange his apartment for the London residence of a successful English playwright and novelist. gives him a drive from the airport which is overcharged. On coming over he realizes that the reality in whose close observation and documentary reproduction he had been engaged till then was all made up. disturbing the very roots of life on earth. She cheats on men being convinced that they themselves lie to each other in the same way as they lie on TV. Art is no longer expected to render the true image of the "body and form of time". London Fields. apocalyptic writings. but then again.(1989) The action of this black comic (and dystopic) novel is set in 1999 which qualifies it for the tradition of millenary. She dumps her diaries in a rubbish bin beneath Sam's window who recovers them and. a working class minor delinquent and a darts player. She is apocalyptic in several ways: she has broken even the hearts of the heartbreakers. and there are rumours and prophetic dreams about impending explosions of nuclear bombs in Warsaw and in London. The language of the popular media pervades everything. excited by the "announced murder" thriller. An actor who is hanged in earnest on the stage elicits no pity from the audience. and introduces his American guest to the motley and Cockney world of the Black Cross pub. The end of the millennium hadn't brought about the end of the world as well. a trained actress. the perspective of growing old frightens her. He can only turn into a writer of fiction. Samson Young.. They have no will of their own. having no other emotional or intellectual commitments. rich and knowing woman of the world. being inscribed within texts written by others. The sun sinking lower and the earth tilting on its axis foretell a full eclipse. Here is the celebrated scene of Hamlet with the skull in the language of sports news: [Horatio] gets the skull and then passes it back to Hamlet who sends it into the audience with a stylish overhead kick. and keeps playing her tricks on men of various status: to the despicable Keith.
as he was doomed to die ("on the deadline") anyway. mate. because not even a high-minded person like himself will care about history. as Asprey. Enola Guy. his vocabulary being borrowed from sports news and gossip columns: "Tears at the dartboard. The author function has become a highly mediated affair. Sam offers to take upon himself the retaliation task. Men. Keith is only interested in television (especially pornographic movies) and tabloids. and her "Little Boy".Nicola is actually murdered. It is the story than engenders the facts. Reality is not simply bracketed. Nicola extorts money from Guy telling him that she wanted to help her friend. and the story is drawn from a web of intertextuality. but the world goes on. not with facts. It seems that nothing ever dies except the heart of humanity. The reading of the diary had misled Sam into believing Keith to be Nicola's "chosen murderer". Keith who spends it on clothes and funny accessories. and. He leaves two notes for Asprey: one in which he names him his executor (charged to destroy the manuscript) and the other in which he wonders whether Asprey might not have set him up. He remembered Kim Twemlow in the semi of last year's World Championship." He is subtly alluding to the search for criminals ("wanted"): social evil has become commonplace. As Guy finds out the truth. it can no longer be separated from its simulacrum. The urban world has displaced the corn fields of pastoral England and the natural rhythms of life or family affections. the truth doesn't matter any more and is not wanted.. and the quest for the truth. because his story with Keith as murderer hadn't worked. Nicola had shut herself up in a room and burned one of Asprey's books. Sam is working. . They are as many reports on non-reality or hyper-reality. doing without truth and honesty: "it doesn't matter what anyone writes any more. Had Sam actually been the surrogate Author's mandated narrator ? Sam complains that Nicola had overwritten him. which becomes dark. so she owed him another book. but with narrative stuff: Nicola's diaries. mistaking generosity for foolishness. meaningless. the hack but wealthy pulp novelist remarks." This is a parody of Virgil's "Sunt lacrimae rerum" (Aeneas weeping at the memory of scenes from the Trojan war which he revisits in Cartage). "it is you" Nicola used to tell him. The time for it mattering has passed. Guy's short stories imbued with an idealism that dooms them to lack of readership. Guy does not recognise the historical reality behind them (they are the names of the aircraft and of the atomic bomb itself which was dropped on Hiroshima). She had dumped her diaries in Sam's view so as to entice him to write the novel. darting diary and fake brochure of goods and services. Kim and Keath: they were men. as it is in canonical modernist works. Men. He strikes her with a car tool and then swallows an overdose of pills. a refugee from the Cambodian war. of male grace under pressure. Keith's pub reports on his sexual conquests. enjoying the multi-media simulacra. lachrimae at the oche: this was Keith's personal vision of male heroism and transcendence. The money she gets in this fraudulent way is a gift to her lover. while the dartboard is reminiscent of Robert Delaunay's dartboards coloured in all the hues of the spectre as a painterly exercise in the decomposition of light as symbol of creation. "It was always you". playing tricks on honest people. insensitive.
Assignment: Compare the relationship between myth and reality in Eliot's The Waste Land and the relevance of the Fisher King figure and the Grail to contemporary New York in The Fisher King.the postulation of a material and stable reality outside social semiosis (representation through signs) . . . Postmodernist modes of representation (conclusion) Post-modernism marks the farthest departure from Modernity (the epistemology and ideology of the Enlightenment) Meta-narratives of the Enlightenment: . Poetic principles are rooted in operations of the mind as defined by empiricist and rationalist philosophy. . Science is the master discipline and is constructed as rational discourse and as a set of analytic procedures leading to well-defined and all-inclusive taxonomies.is removed. . All foundationalist and totalizing systems of thought are discredited. Myth is dismissed as superstition. high and low art. The collapse of the boundary between the rational and the irrational. Magic and religion of the "New Age" type have become mainstream. Belief in reason. . . the mind and the body. The body is regarded as inferior matter. as the very basis of objective and materialistic philosophy . The provisional status of all definitions of value rationality and truth. 12. to hierarchical and hegemonic systems of classification. progress and science. Jean Baudrillard calls this culturally constructed reality "hyper-reality". high technology and street subcultures. spiritualist movements have created websites dedicated to . Postmodernist deconstruction of the meta-narratives of modernity: . . Literature and Culture.
Types of Victorian representations: transgressing the Modern. 2. Ed. Human memory is displaced by electronic memory. Identity is no longer individual but defined in relation to a set of collective representations and life-styles. there is a hierarchy of discourses. Features of realist modes of representation and reading conventions: 1. "The aesthetics of the Victorian novel: form. Status is defined by the ownership of a cell phone. Basic critical source: Linda M. consistent and given in common to implied author. characters and readers. from belief in knowledge systems of universal validity to time-bound and multiple interpretations. etc. Reality is stable. Emphasis on a body destabilised by technology (cosmetic surgery or medical prosthesis) and subjugated to addictions typical of the consumer society. the omniscient narrator being placed in a privileged position: all points of view . . construction and subjectivity which register the departure from the ideology of the Enlightenment and the realist mode of representation in the direction of modernism. . Simulacra (copies without an original) are the building blocks of postmodernist literary texts.The different phases of the Victorian age may be connected through issues of aesthetic form. personal stereo. Cambridge University Press (2001: 61-76). a fax machine. implanted in the brain by the incessant flow of mass information. Shires. by Deirdre David. All definitions of value rationality and truth are given a provisional status. a computer. People have become members of illusory communities held together by an abstract network of representations. Third-person omniscient narrator.the occult. angelmania being one of these esoteric pursuits. . subjectivity. The move from scientific rationality to phenomenology. narrator. ideology" in The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel. . . Even if there are several points of view in the novel. Memory is no longer a record of personal experiences and affects but a palimpsest of discursive fragments disseminated by the popular media.
5. The love plot itself is largely one of Cathy teaching Hareton how to write and read. the reader being placed in a choice situation: he is pushed to set one perspective against another and make his own guesses and predictions. Instead of a hierarchy of discourses. of shaping the reader ideologically and ethically. Huge casts of characters. It opened the way to aesthetic and ideological transformations. He . 4. The novel becomes more self-conscious. 1. The novel becomes mixed in genre. 3. 2. Reality is given in fragments and it is hard to interpret. An intelligible plot and an unambiguous ending or closure. Wuthering Heights starts "1801". with the narrator privileging one over another. 4. The narrator is no longer omniscient but unreliable. there is a cacophony of discourses and narrative voices. as if it were a diary entry or a newspaper report. opposes Lockwood's entry. Lockwood is making wrong guesses about the identity of the characters he meets at Wuthering Heights. 5. reflecting on its nature as a fabricated house of fictions. an inadequate interpreter of events both as a rationalist and a man of feeling. and ends with the reading scene of young Cathy and Hareton reading from the same book.are centrally aligned with his/ her vision. The ending is that of marriage or death. Wuthering Heights. A counter tradition transgressing the modern (the Enlightenment) emerged from the early phase of the Victorian Age. 3. he shares his improper view of events with other narrators who are not more comprehensive than himself with respect to the nature of events and the character of the persons involved in the plot. The tropes of writing and reading and the writing and reading scenes are making a meta-fictional comment on the novel. whose central paradigm is Emily Brontë's novel. The construction of form and of characters is a model of coherence and consistency. It is a blend of asocial romance and a domestic novel of realist socialisation . he mistakes a harsh world of oppression and revenge for a fairy land. in the same way in which the building of the Heights. complex plots and cliffhanger sections due to serialization in literary magazines. It resists penetration. with its closed gate and chain barring the entrance. problematizing reading conventions. the omniscient narrator being also the centre from which moral judgements are issued in view of creating conformity to the bourgeois code of values.
6. There is constant emphasis on epistemological issues such as. scientific rationalism and Evangelical Christianity embodied by scholar Edward Casauban and Dorothea. Joseph Conrad's Marlow by confessing to his partial access to events and the character of people: the reader only knows them through him. Conrad's Preface to the Nigger of the Narcissus (1897) mentions the author's desire to make his reader hear. In Middlemarch. 8. to provide him/her with the material for personal interpretation. labour unrest. first mate aboard the steamship Patna. but interpretations are illimitable". he takes refuge from his painful experience to an exotic and fictional Sumatran . doctor Tertius Lydgate and banker Nicholas Bulstrode. These discursive negotiations produced sub-genres: the industrial novel.himself is just an interpreter rather than the beneficiary of cognitive and moral enlightenment. who jumps it the moment it threatens to sink. how we see. 9. measurable things. feel and. 7. degeneracy and entropy. Joseph Conrad's Lord Jim. the detective novel. 5. The abrupt change of generic kind foregrounds the artificial. her own desires or Casaubon's character: "Miss Brooke argued from words and dispositions not less unhesitatingly than other young ladies of her age. class mobility through liquid capital. etc. The narrator draws the reader’s attention to his role as epistemological mediator: George Eliot through the textual metaphors of the "drop of ink" and the "defective mirror". such as religion. Casaubon is searching for the original myth in and age when geographic explorers had revealed the existence of disconnected mythologies all over the world. know and interpret." Her self-assuredness is dangerous because "signs are small. In Chapter 15. above all. science and political economy. Dorothea thinks her prospective husband was a cross of the rationalist scholar and spiritual philosopher in an age dead to wither. In the second part of the novel. Lydgate dreams of discovering the original tissue at a time when the cell had been discovered. the science-fiction novel. for instance. but one day his past returns to destroy him. Dorothea is tragically mistaken about the possibilities of fulfilling her destiny. The first tells the story of Jim. Bulstrode takes his prosperity for a sign of providential election. see. the narrator is expounding on the poetics undewriting the novel: it gives the image of the web weaving together certain human lots. taking up issues of racial difference. while "the tempting range of relevancies called the universe" is being ignored. doubt and bewilderment. a witness experiencing confusion. fabricated character of the plot and the fact that the author is playing with modes of representation rather than trying to render a truthful image of some particular empirical experience. the Newgate (a famous prison) novel. evolution and breeding. They fail because they are not aware that experience is a permanent flow which cannot be frozen into timeless truths. is divided into two distinct parts. The novel reproduces and questions totalizing narratives or meta-narratives. Victorian literary discourses intersect with many cultural discourses of the period. George Eliot shows the failure of Idealism.
education. In Browning's poem. doubt serves to bind us all together. can only place "fragments" of experience "before all eyes. "Double poems" keep two readings in tension. dramatic monologues. without choice and without fear". Bishop Blougram famously says: Our interest's on the dangerous edge of thing/ The honest thief.. by dramatic personae who try to make sense of the world and of their own experience. Poetry itself is expected to be useful to society. modelled on Cardinal Wiseman. turning into a public discourse on issues of faith. public morality. The "I" of an emotional unmediated experience providing a structural centre in Romantic poetry is displaced by narrative masks.island. being replaced with split selves (Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde). The stable self comes under stress. which must itself always be partial. head of the Roman Catholic Church. They are distanced from the poet's own view . What other authors might have understood as utterly fragmenting. 1844) destabilise the rationalist's confidence and cognitive security. none is endowed with a privileged cognitive status. The probing into the psychological intricacies of a consciousness in trial yields to the symbolic plot of romance. institutionalized religion etc. as "a collection of partial views may offer more than a single view. in Bleak House) is juxtaposed over a male." (Linda M. detached and ironic view of events. and as a source of epistemic doubts. Patusan. affirming and contesting Victorian ideology.: 63). Rational argument and binary thought cannot account for the complexities of the human soul. as in Browning's "Bishop Blougram's Apology". who was a sophisticated ecclesiastic. simplistic and naive. where he is taken for a hero being called "Lord Jim" by the natives. Op. who made room for doubt as an alternative to dogmatism. Conrad views as a challenge. The Victorian poet's overt engagement with issues of politics and ideology materialised in generic hybrids: mask poems. mutating bodies (Dracula) or changing bodily shapes (Alice in Wonderland). only known in fragments. 10. Anxiety. Reality is presented as unfathomable. It is "doubt which is the inseparable part of knowledge" (Lord Jim) that creates solidarity among human subjects. 13.. consequently. In his belief system. the woman's status in society. His plans for a coffee plantation and the intrusion of the emissaries of European capital destroy the Edenic world initially placed beyond the reach of a corrupt civilization. The two a played against each other. the tender murderer/ The superstitious atheist . Conrad says in the Preface to The Nigger of the Narcissus. and. but also a worldly person. the first Archbishop of Westminster. 12. "beyond the end of telegraph cables and mail-boat lines".. it too becomes hybrid. appropriating issues of cultural and social importance. dread (a concept defined by proto-existentialist Kierkegaard in The Concept of Dread. 11. The author. narrative poems. He legitimised doubt as another kind of faith. Shires. even if it believes itself to be whole. while rationalism seemed to him shallow. Sometimes the subjective perspective (of a female character. cit.
human nature is very much the same always and everywhere. 1. rewriting Jesus' parable in Matthew 6: 27-30. a motionless structure of a value that cannot alter and a significance that is always the same. because "the past and the present are one. and when I have finished the play you will find I have written history. Edited by Christopher Innes. Modernist Modes of Representation. wtih all their diversity identical in all that is typical and. in which she assumes the persona of the girl who was loved by the sixteenth-century Portuguese poet Camoens. The anachronistic elements of Shaw's plays are justified by his Nietzschean view that the plots of history have "a value that cannot alter and a significance . I know what would happen." Literature and Culture 13. She too is rescuing a male lover from anonymity by dedicating her sonnets to him. Christina Rossetti appropriates the male sage discourse (discourse of wisdom) in "Consider the Lilies of the Field"). History is no longer conceived of as teleological progress (movement towards some purpose realised through self-conscious agents) but as cyclic. as the omnipresence of imperishable types. Given Caesar.of the situation. where she displaces Theoc ritus who had sung the happy hours bringing Adonis back from the underworld. According to Nietzsche (Second Untimely Meditation and The Genealogy of Morals). 1998: 195)." Writing on the threshold between Victorian and Modernist. Two readings are kept in tension in women's rewriting of male genres or responding to poems by men about women. laying bare their constructed character (they are made-up fictions serving society's dominant ideology) and raise problems of how to interpret human experience (See Browning's Fra Lippo Lippi). that is to say. Essay topic: "Transgressing the Modern: Victorian expressions of epistemological uncertainty/ entropic modes of vision/ lost security of selfhood/ aesthetic disunity (generic hybrids). They often question undisputed truths. For instance. and a certain set of circumstances. The modernist deconstruction of the meta-narratives of the Enlightenment. which prevents the reader himself from identifying with them. 14. Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "Catrina to Camoens". or her “Sonnets from he Portuguese” . George Bernard Shaw takes the same unhistorical attitude to the past events in his history plays: "I never worry myself about historical details until the play is done. humans never live to engage in genuinely new action." ( The Cambrdige Companion to George Bernard Shaw.
an invitation to anarchy." However. emotions. We search for the truth about what really happened and we are only faced with historical narratives contaminated by the interests of those who wrote them. conventions of composition and rhetorical strategies rather than unadulterated relics of the past: "you cannot even write a history without adapting the facts to the conditions of literary narrative. Utopian projections of the best of all possible societies end up in the nightmare of totalitarianism (George Orwell. The early modernity myth of social progress. Humans are artificially born and divided into the Alphas. declared blessed in l908 and canonized in 1920. Deltas and Epsilons. a pill of self-oblivion." (Shaw interviewed on Arms and the Man). fit for reproduction. . It is only that people are not aware of the meaning of their actions at that time. Lemaitre and Warwick judge Joan La Pucelle (Saint Joan) in terms of a later age. religion. there is no place for the humanities or for arts. In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. The Victorian anxiety about degeneracy and regression had led to the foundation of the Eugenics Society in 1989. of mankind's advancement through knowledge towards an improved stage of civilizationis reclassified as dystopia. rehabilitated in l456. and therefore as unconscious of its peculiarities as of the atomic formula of the air they breathed. he has them "saying the things they actually would have said if they had known what they were really doing. History becomes a matter of textual practices and rhetorical conventions. and religious beliefs are nourished by poetry rather than by revelations. desires are replaced with the universal remedy of soma. As Shaw explains. the Renaissance melioration plot (the title is borrowed from Shakespeare's the tempest) is rewritten as a dystopia of modern technology. " Shaw takes the jump from being to representation (Martin Heidegger's brand for the age: "The age of representations"). of the Reformation of the churches (Joan is a Protestant who will not allow of a priest of a peer to interfere between herself and God) or even of Victorian Macaulay's history of the English Empire (the right of England to rule over less civilized races for their own good). miracles are just staged performances which create faith. There is no essential identity but only historically constructed versions of identity. which are in some respects much more distorting than the dramatic conditions of representation on stage. love descends to promiscuous mating.that is always the same". but her uncommon conduct is seen as a threat to the stability of the existing order. Gammas. designated venerable in l904. and the unfit Betas. Cauchon. The genealogy of morals is Nietzschean as well: the source of values is some convenient fiction or fable. "they were part of the Middle Ages themselves. physically and socially unfit and to encourage the better stocks to reproduce themselves. art. Shakespeare's Caesar and Cleopatra was just "a page of Plutarch furnished with scenery and dialogue". devised by an inhuman state machinery which controls everybody's lives. In the world of mass production and Ford cars. Nineteen Eighty-Four). he Inquisition well knows that Joan is innocent. It was trying to defend society from the multiplication of the degenerate. As Shaw says in the Preface. Joan of Arc was burnt for heresy in 1431. traditional family bonds. Histories follow the "law of the genre". 2.
or reluctant to acknowledge in the light of reason or consciousness: For a new truth about ourselves.S.H. "A Freudian Appreciation" . Unlike the eighteenth-century histories of Empires and of the civilizing mission. Rodopi: 2007). and a writer may be an anlysand who helps the reader become aware of some repressed drives or traumas and in this way heal him as effectively as a psychiatrist.3. legends. Literary records have the advantage of being the fixed and classic expression of human emotions which in the living individual are usually too fluid and elusive for deliberate study. 1916." This sounds like a voice of the rational scientific Enlightenment. "T. which may seem altogether grotesque and impossible when presented to us as an arid theory. The boundary between science and art (Kant's theory of the separate spheres) is transgressed in the name of their mutual relevance: But it sometimes happens that a piece of literature acquires and added significance by virtue of the support it gives to the scientific study of human motives. Alfred Booth Kuttner. Eliot looks to "War-Paint and Feathers" among primitive communities for keys to an understanding of advanced civilizations. Consciousness is determined not only by the individual subconscious but also by archetypal representations of the collective subconscious. Lawrence's novel Sons and Lovers from a psychoanalytic perspective. Kuttner applies Freud's theory of the unconscious processes of deflection and transference (love for the mother deflected to sister and then to some woman outside of the family circle) to Lawrence's Sons and Lovers read as a study in the protagonist’s fixation on his mother. A study in D. with the important difference that the object of research is man's unconscious: that which the average man will either be unaware of. Classical . The Cartesian. Biblical journeys. an absence filled with words." ("The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism"). but becomes available only to or through the poet. According to T. Poetry "may make us from time to time a little more aware of the deeper. Each individual being or act acquires meaning by being slotted into one of these textual frames: ancient myths. Edited by Viorica Patea and Paul Scott Derrick. Eliot. When at last we recognise ourselves we like the thrill of having made a discovery. The third that always walks beside each individual is he who is spoken of." (Viorica Patea. to which we rarely penetrate" The study of primitive man furthers our understanding of civilized man.objective centres of experience or Jungian presuppositions of a universal substratum that underlies personal consciousness. They are based on a new concept of personality influenced by Bradleyian theories of subjective-. "the prelogical mentality persists in civilized man.S. Eliot's Poetics of the Mythical Method" in Modernism Revisited. "Eliot's wastelanders are collage portraits in which the lineaments of contemporary men and women draw on those of mythical or literary personages. rational and unitary self is displaced by a body-determined and derived mind: conscious behaviour is symptomatic of repressed contents in the unconscious through the operation of social taboos. a text (unlike the actually present interlocutors speaking in the first and second person)." Literature becomes an invaluable accessory to the psychology. 4. often gains unexpected confirmation when presented to us in a powerful work of literature as an authentic piece of life. unnamed feelings which form the substratum of our being. a piece of language.
from the Age of Phenomenology (interpretation) to the Age of Representation. Unlike the meta-narratives of the Enlightenment. Dido. narrative and rhetorical discontinuities and unexplained alternations of past and present.S. The new experimental form rescues reality from the flux of photographic naturalism and re-composes it into a new geometry (. as "withered stumps of time".. digging up the successive deposits of cultural narratives. The unhappily married lady of The Game of Chess is enlarged through projection into plots of famous wretched couples: Cleopatra. The focus on the split between reality (the given) and art (the re-presented). the mythological structures of the East and of the West are now given in fragments.).stories. Patea. . dramatic action loses its linear progression and ceases to compose mere sequences. Eliot undertakes a sort of Heideggerian "Destruktion": searching for the origins of Europe's collective memory. or. Within the framework of these montages. reality and myth.. (V. a Sicilian harbour. witnesses a battle in 260 BC but also Garibaldi*s victory..) that reproduces the simultaneities and syncronicities of consciousness.) Essay topic: From Victorian to Modernist. bits of history . A man walking in the streets of a modern city calls out to another: "Stetson. art works of the west. you who were with me in the ships at Mylae". Op. cit. The recently concluded war looms in the penumbra of other battles with their heavy tolls of human lives: Mylae. This affects modernist poetics and writing practices: "The new poetics resorts to cubist aesthetics and privileges a complex mode of ever-shifting temporal dislocations. Philomel. T..