Lateness and Modern European Literature

Hardcover | September 10, 2016

byBen Hutchinson

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Modern European literature has traditionally been seen as a series of attempts to assert successive styles of writing as "new". In this groundbreaking study, Ben Hutchinson argues that literary modernity can in fact be understood not as that which is new, but as that which is "late". Exploringthe ways in which European literature repeatedly defines itself through a sense of senescence or epigonality, Hutchinson shows that the shifting manifestations of lateness since romanticism express modernity's continuing quest for legitimacy. With reference to a wide range of authors - from Mary Shelley, Chateaubriand, and Immermann, via Baudelaire, Henry James, and Nietzsche, to Valry, Djuna Barnes, and Adorno - Lateness and Modern European Literature combines close readings with historical and theoretical comparisons of numerousnational contexts. Out of this broad comparative sweep emerges a taxonomy of lateness, of the diverse ways in which modern writers can be understood, in the words of Nietzsche, as 'creatures facing backwards'. Ambitious and original, this book offers a significant new model for understandingliterary modernity.

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Modern European literature has traditionally been seen as a series of attempts to assert successive styles of writing as "new". In this groundbreaking study, Ben Hutchinson argues that literary modernity can in fact be understood not as that which is new, but as that which is "late". Exploringthe ways in which European literature repea...

Ben Hutchinson is Professor of European Literature at the University of Kent. He has published widely on German, French, and English literature, including the monographs Rilke's Poetics of Becoming (2006), W. G. Sebald. Die dialektische Imagination (2009), and Modernism and Style (2011), as well as the co-edited volumes Archive: Compar...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:352 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.1 inPublished:September 10, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198767692

ISBN - 13:9780198767695

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart One: From Late to Post-Romanticism1. 'The Spirit of the Age'2. 'A book read to its end': The post-Napoleonic consciousness3. Late Romanticism and 'lastness'4. French Romanticism and the spirit of the past5. Epigonentum in Germany of the 1830sPart Two: Decadence1. Modes of falling: Romantic decadence in the 1830s2. 'Ageing passions': 1850s-1860s3. Models of lateness in the 1880s4. English decadence: 'Late-learning' in a French school5. Germanic DekadenzPart Three: Modernism1. Lateness as 'embarrassment': Paul Valery2. Lateness as 'decline': Oswald Spengler, Nicholas Berdyaev, Hellmuth Plessner, Arnold Gehlen3. Lateness as 'a European language': Theodor W. Adorno and late style4. Lateness as 'hollowing out': T.S. Eliot, Ernst Bloch, Wyndham Lewis, D.H. Lawrence5. Lateness as 'myth': Eugene Jolas, Gottfried Benn, Hermann Broch6. Lateness as 'eschatology': Futurism, Expressionism, decadent modernismEpilogue: The Vertigo of LatenessBibliographyIndex