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A Concise Companion to Modernism by David Bradshaw

By David Bradshaw

This concise spouse bargains an leading edge method of figuring out the Modernist literary brain in Britain, concentrating on the highbrow and cultural contexts, which formed it.

Offers an leading edge method of knowing the Modernist literary brain in Britain.
Helps readers to understand the highbrow and cultural contexts of literary Modernism.
Organised round modern principles akin to Freudianism and eugenics instead of literary genres.
Relates literary Modernism to the overarching problems with the interval, corresponding to feminism, imperialism and struggle.

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Wells depicted the descent of the urban working class into violent anarchy, and the ruling class into decadence and neurosis (see Pick 1989: 157–9). And in Dracula (1897), Bram Stoker’s embodiment of contemporary fears, degeneration is represented, and displaced onto a foreign count who is finally conquered with a wooden stake. Nonetheless, the novel does not allay fears: contagion seeps through it; disease passes, invisibly, relentlessly, between bodies (see Pick 1989: 167– 75). And, like the women that the state had sought to regulate in the second half on the nineteenth century, under the Contagious Diseases Acts, women in Dracula spread contagion: “nothing can be more dreadful than those awful women, who were, who are, waiting to suck my blood” (Dracula, ch.

Eugenics, the “natural” solution to the “population question,” was figured as kind and feminine. In the Eugenics Review, founded by the Eugenics Education Society in 1909, Mrs. ” (1912: 857; see also Chapter 2 in this volume). ” While the threat here is perceived to be environmental, the causes of ill health were increasingly being held as biological. In the same year the Atlantic Monthly posited, and to a much wider readership, a biological basis for crime. Concern over Britain’s position amidst growing international imperialist rivalry converged with fears about national health and the strength of the imperial race (see Chapters 2 and 9 in this volume).

The commentators at this time generally saw Nietzsche as the philosopher of Darwinism and evolution whose Übermensch was the forerunner of a new human race, a master race. (Mazumdar 1991: 104) Similarly, Oscar Levy, the man responsible for the first complete and authorized translation of the works of Nietzsche into English, was also a degenerationist and dedicated eugenist, as was his fellow Nietzschean, the anti-democrat and misogynist Anthony Ludovici (for more on both of them see Michael Bell’s chapter on Nietzscheanism).

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