William Baker, Ira Bruce Nadel, Joseph Wiesenfarth - Redefining the Modern

William Baker, Ira Bruce Nadel, Joseph Wiesenfarth - Redefining the Modern
Publisher: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press | 2004-01 | ISBN: 0838640133 | File type: PDF | 224 pages | 1.34 mb

Redefining the Modern spans nearly a century and a half in a series of essays that capture the crucial shifts and transformations marking the change from the Victorian to the Modern period. At the center of the collection is the understanding that literature responds to, as well as initiates, social, intellectual, and sometimes political change. It also recognizes that historical categories, like genres, need to be realigned. The diverse material ranges from Jane Austen's laughter to female detectives and black fiction. It coheres, however, through its focus on the interaction of language and society and the way language and culture maintain a persistent and dynamic exchange. Rather than deny links between one period and another, this collection argues for continuity and development, emphasizing revision and renewal rather than rejection and refusal. No longer do critics accept fierce divides or unbridgeable paths between the work of the Victorians and moderns. Recent approaches to the period, reflecting gender, cultural studies, and new historicism, provide fresh means of assessment. Central to this reconception is the recognition that if the Victorians invented us, we, in turn, have invented the Victorians. How we have done so is precisely the focus of this collection.

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