This book offers a comprehensive account of the absurd in prose fiction. As well as providing a basis for courses on absurdist literature (whether in fiction or in drama), it offers a broadly based philosophical background. Sections covering theoretical approaches and an overview of the historical literary antecedents to the ‘modern’ absurd introduce the largely twentieth-century core chapters. In addition to discussing a variety of literary movements (from Surrealism to the Russian OBERIU), the book offers detailed case studies of four prominent exponents of the absurd: Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Daniil Kharms and Flann O'Brien. There is also wide discussion of other English-language and European contributors to the phenomenon of the absurd.
This book collects eleven original essays in the cultural history of the British Empire since the eighteenth century. It is geographically capacious, taking in the United Kingdom, India, West Africa, Hong Kong, and Australia, as well as sites of informal British influence such as the Ottoman Empire and southern China. The book considers the ways in which British culture circulated within what John Darwin has called the British “world system”. In this, the book builds on existing imperial scholarship while innovating in several ways: it focuses on the movement of ideas and cultural praxis, whereas Darwin has focused mostly on imperial structures —financial, demographic, and military. The book examines the transmission, reception, and adaptation of British culture in the Metropole, the empire and informal colonial spaces, whereas many recent scholars have considered British imperial influence on the Metropole alone. It examines Britain's Atlantic and Asian imperial experiences from the eighteenth to the twentieth century together. Through focusing on political ideology, literary movements, material culture, marriage, and the construction of national identities, the essays demonstrate the salience of culture in making a “British World”.
Rebel by Vocation: Seán O’Faoláin and the Generation of The Bell tells the story of O’Faoláin and The Bell through the characters and writers that surrounded its offices in Dublin. It is the emergence of a post-independence national character that The Bell best embodies and this theme will be examined throughout the monograph to produce the first comprehensive ‘biography’ of this seminal literary journal, focussing on the dominant personality in its early years in Seán O’Faoláin with important excursions into the lives of the other principal contributors. It is based on exciting new archival research on O’Faoláin and his co-editor Peadar O’Donnell, who drew around them a generation of diverse and talented writers in The Bell that flourished in the shadows of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce. Drawing comparisons with other literary movements in America and the United Kingdom, this work shows the early influences on O’Faoláin’s writing during the first half of the twentieth century and reveals the complexity of his thought on topics as varied as religion, censorship, the Irish novel and republicanism. This book will challenge the accepted thesis that lauds O’Faoláin and The Bell as the voice of an independent, intellectual, and cultural elite in Ireland, and complicates the received wisdom on its relationship to censorship, the church, and the state.
This chapter begins by contextualising the Charlie Marlow texts, considering them in terms of their original publication in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine and explores them in relation to Victorian realism and modernist experimentation. It situates Joseph Conrad's work at the intersection of Victorianism and modernism, a literary-historical context that introduces the possibility of approaching the two literary movements in terms of their points of similarity rather than in their points of divergence. In making this argument, the discussion approaches the Marlow texts in terms of a narrative hermeneutics that emerges from the work of Ricoeur and Kermode and which is concerned with the manner in which literary narratives approach the representation of truth. Charlie Marlow; Victorian realism; Joseph Conrad; modernist experimentation; narrative hermeneutics; Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine
small groupings, the symbolic spaces
of literarymovements or generations, the physical space of homes,
local cultural centres and national networks of institutions – have not
only offered protection to individuals against the ‘crushing’ collective
of ideological commitment and service to politics, although at times
of greatest crisis, they have undoubtedly served this function. More
importantly, this network of informal and formal, real and symbolic
spaces, have offered the individual ways of defining their relationship to
the collective, and have assumed a special
explicitly querying the relationship between possible futures,
material realities and grammatical structures.
In an attempt to reconcile these three trajectories – imaginative possibility, potential as a material property of objects, and the subjunctive mood – this
essay stages conversations between representative works in Weiner’s oeuvre and
various texts and literarymovements with which they share formal affinities. I
recognise that this methodology goes against the artist’s career-long insistence
that his works be discussed within the discourse of sculpture, but
Gothic jewellery, ephemera such as posters and Frankenstein toys with
‘Gothic’ used to signify artistic and literarymovements
of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries? Do such artefacts and
events in fact degrade, distort or blur Gothic traditions? In 2014 , I asked Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes of the
Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies whether he interpreted events such
as rock performances and dance previously marginalised
. Indeed, given her longevity, Tanning became a reluctant spokesperson for several artistic and literarymovements.
Yet Tanning's writing does more, revealing a sharp critical thinker as well as an important contributor to experimental literary forms. For example, through her niece Mimi Johnson, Tanning became a supporter of the conceptual writer and performer Constance DeJong who set up Standard Editions, financed by Tanning, in order to self-publish DeJong's Modern Love (1977) and an earlier version of Tanning's Chasm manuscript entitled Abyss
children … to the remotest
Henry Innes maintains that ‘Chaucer was a church reformer and
espoused the principles of John WICKLIFFE’, as shown by the
fact that he ‘thrashed a Friar in Fleet Street’.14 Thomas Arnold
distinguishes Wyclif and Chaucer as ‘two literarymovements’, but
pairs them in spirit: ‘Admirable as Chaucer was, it must not be
forgotten that Wyclif was yet more in the thick of the intellectual
strife of the period than he’.15 Less carefully, and still following
William Godwin’s very inaccurate but influential Life (1804),16
‘H. W. D.’ could
the influence of German pessimism in
the life and works of Andreev and yet, the ideas of Schopenhauer and
Hartmann were certainly no more widespread or personally relevant to
the author than the popular discourse concerning mental illness and the
devolution of Russian society.
The influence of degeneration theory on cultural and artistic production,
particularly literature, was quite widespread at the beginning of the
twentieth century. A partial list of leading authors and important works
of the time gives a sense of its scope: Joseph Conrad