Modernism and Mourning
Bucknell University Press, 2007 - Literary Collections - 310 pages
The essays in Modernism and Mourning examine the work of mourning in modernist literature, or more precisely, its propensity for resisting this work. Drawing from recent developments in the theory and cultural history of mourning, its contributors explore the various ways in which modernist writers repudiate Freud's famous injunction to mourners to work through their grief, endorsing instead a resistant, or melancholic mourning that shapes both their themes and their radical experiments with form. The emerging picture of the pervasive influence of melancholic mourning in modernist literature casts new light on longstanding critical arguments, especially those about the politics of modernism. It also makes clear the pertinence of this literature to the present day, in which the catastrophic losses of 9/11, of retaliatory war, of racially motivated genocide, of the AIDS epidemic, have made the work of mourning a subject of widespread interest and debate. Patricia Rae is Head of the Department of English at Queen's University.
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Page 183 - Abstract words such as glory, honor, courage, or hallow were obscene beside the concrete names of villages, the numbers of roads, the names of rivers, the numbers of regiments and the dates.
Page 107 - We younger Negro artists who create now intend to express our individual dark-skinned selves without fear or shame. If white people are pleased we are glad. If they are not, it doesn't matter.
Page 61 - ... we have an interval, and then our place knows us no more. Some spend this interval in listlessness, some in high passions, the wisest, at least among "the children of this world,
Page 85 - In the tarpaper morgue at Chalons-sur-Marne in the reek of chloride of lime and the dead, they picked out the pine box that held all that was left of enie menie minie moe plenty other pine boxes stacked up there containing what they'd scraped up of Richard Roe and other person or persons unknown.
Page 97 - We are talking about characteristic elements of impulse, restraint, and tone; specifically affective elements of consciousness and relationships: not feeling against thought, but thought as felt and feeling as thought: practical consciousness of a present kind, in a living and inter-relating continuity.
Page 213 - Yes, we are going to suffer, now; the sky Throbs like a feverish forehead; pain is real; The groping searchlights suddenly reveal The little natures that will make us cry, Who never quite believed they could exist, Not where we were. They take us by surprise Like ugly long-forgotten memories, And like a conscience all the guns resist. Behind each sociable home-loving eye The private massacres are taking place; All Women, Jews, the Rich, the Human Race. The mountains cannot judge us when we lie: We...
Page 19 - No justice . . . seems possible or thinkable without the principle of some responsibility, beyond all living present, within that which disjoins the living present, before the ghosts of those who arc not yet born or who are already dead...
Page 45 - In the form of an image the object is absorbed into the subject instead of following the bidding of the alienated world and persisting obdurately in a state of reification. The contradiction between the object reconciled in the subject, ie, spontaneously absorbed into the subject...
Page 286 - When there are so many we shall have to mourn, When grief has been made so public, and exposed To the critique of a whole epoch The frailty of our conscience and anguish, Of whom shall we speak? For every day they die Among us, those who were doing us some good, And knew it was never enough but Hoped to improve a little by living.