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By Sarah Cole

Literature has lengthy sought to make experience of the destruction and aggression wrought by means of human civilization. but no unmarried literary circulation was once extra powerfully formed by way of violence than modernism. As Sarah Cole indicates, modernism emerged as an creative reaction to the devastating occasions that outlined the interval, together with the chaos of anarchist bombings, international battle I, the Irish rebellion, and the Spanish Civil warfare. Combining ancient element with inventive readings of fiction, poetry, journalism, photos, and different cultural fabrics, At the Violet Hour explores the unusual intimacy among modernist aesthetics and violence within the past due 19th and early 20th centuries.

The First global conflict and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land reveal the recent theoretical paradigm that Cole deploys all through her research, what she calls "enchanted" and "disenchanted" violence-the polarizing perceptions of violent loss of life as both the gasoline for regeneration or the brand of gruesome loss. those innovations thread throughout the literary-historical moments that shape the center of her learn, starting with anarchism and the appearance of dynamite violence in past due Victorian England. As evinced in novels by way of Joseph Conrad, Henry James, and others, anarchism fostered a colourful, smooth realization of violence entrenched in sensationalism and melodrama. A next bankruptcy bargains 4 interpretive categories-keening, generative violence, reprisal, and allegory-for studying violence in works by way of W. B. Yeats, J. M. Synge, Sean O'Casey, and others round the time of Ireland's Easter emerging. The publication concludes with a dialogue of Virginia Woolf's oeuvre, putting the writer in fundamental relatives to the encroaching tradition of violence: deeply exploring and formalizing its registers; and veering clear of her friends to build an unique set of styles to house its visceral ubiquity within the years prime as much as the second one international War.

A wealthy interdisciplinary examine that comes with views from historical past, anthropology, the visible arts, and literature, At the Violet Hour provides a resonant framework for refiguring the connection among aesthetics and violence that may expand a long way past the interval typically linked to literary modernism.

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Extra info for At the violet hour : modernism and violence in England and Ireland

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The violence of war was spectacular and unavoidable, and postwar culture in many ways came to define itself in and around its slaughter, taking itself to task. One key point I will be arguing about modernism, however, is that this spectacular quality is not so much a given in the period as the subject of literary effort. The extremity of visible violence is in many cases the generating fact behind modernism’s portrayals of indeterminacy, and the reverse is also true: such violence embodies and makes spectacular a set of formal principles and modes of consciousness that were gaining steam in other contexts as well.

Père Lilièvre. ” “A child passed,” I said. “She seemed very frightened when she saw me. ” He shrugged his shoulders. ” I persisted. ” “No road,” he repeated obstinately. (Rhys, 105–6) Taken together, the passages offer a complete picture of the paradigm, where violent pasts are figured as severed, ambiguous narratives, and unseen forces invisibly direct and determine the traumas of the present. The violent deeds that define this novel’s past (of which there are an almost infinite number) are erased and unavailable, even as they are compulsively reconjured.

The image of contemporary consciousness suggested by shell shock is characterized by a severe rupturing in time, space, and personal memory, and the shell-shocked former soldier becomes a kind of tortured hero for modernism’s particular theater. A threshold figure, he suggests many antinomies, such as protest and capitulation, silence and reconstituted language, destruction and tenuous rehabilitation. To name just a few of the many prominent literary examples, Woolf ’s Septimus Warren Smith in Mrs.

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