Mourning Modernism: Literature, Catastrophe, and the by Lecia Rosenthal

By Lecia Rosenthal

Mourning Modernism: Literature, disaster, and the Politics of comfort examines the writing of disaster, mass demise, and collective loss in 20th-century literature and feedback. With specific specialize in texts through Virginia Woolf, Walter Benjamin, and W.G. Sebald, Mourning Modernism engages the century's sign preoccupation with world-ending,a combined rhetoric of totality and rupture, finitude and survival, the tip and its posthumous remainders. fascinated about the specter of apocalypse, the century proliferates the spectacle of world-ending as a sort of wish, an ambivalent compulsion to eat and outlive the top of all.In dialog with contemporary discussions of the century's ardour for the genuine, and taking over the century's past due aesthetics of subtraction, Mourning Modernism reads the century's obsession with damaging different types of finishing and consequence. Drawing connections among the present curiosity within the type of trauma and the culture of the chic, Mourning Modernism reframes the phrases of the modernist scan and its aesthetics of the breaking-point from the lens of a overdue chic.

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To the more recent poets, the catastrophe is accustomed to present difficulties. ’’45 ‘‘Shrinking Earth’’ The threat, and this is the great confinement, is having in one’s head a reduced mental picture of the Earth—an Earth that is constantly flown over, traversed and violated in its real size. That shrinking Earth is destroying me for that very reason, me, the planet-man who is no longer aware of any expanse at all. Paul Virilio, Politics of the Very Worst ‘‘With technology’s having seized power—a revolution this, planned by no one, totally anonymous and irresistible—the dynamism has taken on .................

For Lyotard, the future anterior is the grammar of the correct ‘‘understanding’’ of the sublime, that understanding he calls the postmodern. ‘‘The postmodern would be that which in the modern invokes the unpresentable in presentation itself, that which refuses the consolation of correct forms, refuses the consensus of taste permitting a common experience of nostalgia for the impossible, and inquires into new presentations—not to take pleasure in them, but to better produce the feeling that there is something unpresentable.

What we want from the catastrophe is always a mixed affair: We want more and no more catastrophe. Perhaps we want for the catastrophe, insofar as it wreaks havoc with the norm, to have changed everything, a messianic turn. Perhaps we want from the catastrophe, insofar as it wreaks havoc with the norm, to deliver only more of the same, not to have changed anything at all. Catastrophe, then, the anticipated but unknown end, the end of catastrophe, catastrophe as its aftermaths. And what, then, of catastrophe as the future of catastrophe?

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