Visionary Fictions: Apocalyptic Writing from Blake to the Modern Age

Paperback | November 30, 2011

byEdward J. Ahearn

not yet rated|write a review
"Visionary" writers, says Edward Ahearn in this original book, seek a personal way to explode the normal experience of the "real," using prophetic visions, fantastic tales, insane rantings, surrealistic dreams, and drug- or sex-induced dislocations in their work. Their fiction expresses rebellion against all the values of Western civilization—personal, sexual, familial, religious, moral, societal, and political. Yet even though they are anti-realistic, they do react to specific aspects of modern reality, such as the recurring promise and failure of social revolution. Ahearn, who finds this form at once exhilarating, immensely disturbing, vital, and subversive, explores the work of a wide variety of authors who have contributed to the genre from the late eighteenth century to the present day.

Beginning with the appearance of visionary writing in the work of William Blake, Ahearn traces the development of the form in texts by widely scattered authors writing in French, German, and English. He includes Novalis, Lautréamont, Breton, William Burroughs, and contemporary feminists Monique Wittig and Jamaica Kincaid, among others. Quoting liberally from these authors, Ahearn summarizes the works and places them in context. General readers, as well as those who have studied these authors, will find this book an extraordinarily interesting tour of this little recognized and frequently misunderstood genre.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$33.27

In stock online
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

"Visionary" writers, says Edward Ahearn in this original book, seek a personal way to explode the normal experience of the "real," using prophetic visions, fantastic tales, insane rantings, surrealistic dreams, and drug- or sex-induced dislocations in their work. Their fiction expresses rebellion against all the values of Western civil...

Edward J. Ahearn, University Professor and professor of comparative literature and French studies at Brown University, is also author of Marx and Modern Fiction, published by Yale University Press.

other books by Edward J. Ahearn

Format:PaperbackDimensions:208 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:November 30, 2011Publisher:Yale University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300184069

ISBN - 13:9780300184068

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Visionary Fictions: Apocalyptic Writing from Blake to the Modern Age

Reviews