Against the Event: The Everyday and Evolution of Modernist Narrative

Hardcover | September 22, 2013

byMichael Sayeau

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Against the Event: The Everyday and the Evolution of Modernist Narrative investigates how a modernity famed for temporal acceleration - from Benjamin's "shock" and "distraction" to the postmodern loss of historical consciousness diagnosed by Jameson - generated fictions defined, strangelyenough, not just by the "new" but just as forcefully by everyday depletions of stasis and repetition, a flood of sameness in modern life. With close attention to the novels of Flaubert, Wells, Conrad, and Joyce, Against the Event relates this aspect of modernity to modernist and proto-modernist problems of narrative form, in particular the banalizing effects of genre, the threatening necessity of closure, and the obsolescence of thecoherent narrator. In doing so, Against the Event is also an intervention into one of the pressing philosophical and theoretical issues of our time, that of the nature of the "event."

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Against the Event: The Everyday and the Evolution of Modernist Narrative investigates how a modernity famed for temporal acceleration - from Benjamin's "shock" and "distraction" to the postmodern loss of historical consciousness diagnosed by Jameson - generated fictions defined, strangelyenough, not just by the "new" but just as forcef...

Michael Sayeau is Lecturer of English at University College London.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:272 pagesPublished:September 22, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199681252

ISBN - 13:9780199681259

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: In the Anteroom of the EventWhat is the Everyday?What is an EventLiterature and the EventAnti-Evental ModernismThe Emergence of Modernist Narrative2. 'The future was a dark corridor': Flaubert's Madame Bovary, The Everyday, and Style'As though in a grip of a ghastly terror'A Book About Nothing, an Exercise in StyleThe Nouveau and the GenreEmma's EverydaySkipping: An Aesthetics of Uneventful ExistenceHomais's Cross of Honor: Flaubert and History3. The 'Odd Consequence' of Progress: H.G. Wells's The Time Machine and the Fin de Siecle EverydayThe Catastrophic Status-Quo: Empire, Economics, and Sex at the End of the Nineteenth CenturyA Universal Tendency to Dissipation: Overproduction and Heat Death'After the Battle Comes the Quiet': Wells's Ambivalent Modernity'My Story Slips Away from Me': The Narrative Impulse vs. Social StasisEveryday Apocalypse and the Morlocks ex Machina4. 'His Occupation Would Be Gone': Unemployment and Time in Conrad's Heart of DarknessThe Invention of Unemployment: Conrad's CareersMarlow's Discourse and the Temporality of WorkThe 'Helpers': The Belgian Congo, Forced Labor, and the PosthumanConrad's Unemployment, the Narrative Event, and Modernism5. Joyce's Anti-Epiphanies: The Atomic Form of FictionThe Manuscript Epiphanies of 1900-1903Dubliners: The Critique of Pure EpiphanyPortrait and the Temporality of ImpersonalityBack to the Strand: 'Nausicaa'Modernism, the Everyday, and Auerbach's 'Very Simple Solution'Bibliography