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Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Community

$35.99 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521032995

$ 35.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Jessica Berman claims that modernist fiction engages directly with early twentieth-century transformations of community and cosmopolitanism. Although modernist writers develop radically different models for social organization, their writings return again and again to issues of commonality and shared voice, particularly in relation to dominant discourses of gender and nationality. The writings of Henry James, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Gertrude Stein not only inscribe early twentieth-century anxieties about race, ethnicity, nationality and gender, but confront them with demands for modern, cosmopolitan versions of community.

    • Berman offers readings of the political implications of modernist fiction by Henry James, Marcel Proust, Virginia Woolf, and Gertrude Stein
    • Berman's study engages with contemporary theories of the politics of community
    • This book challenges the division between post-modern political theory and modernist texts
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...a slim but formidable work deeply grounded in contemporary critical theory. Thanks to Berman's complex theoretical analysis, Woolf's vision of community emerges as a powerful and defiant rejection of homogeneity." Virginia Woolf Miscellany

    "...there is much to be praised in and much to be gained from this book." Modern Philology

    "Berman has written a passionately argued and scrupulously researched book." Modern Fiction Studies

    "Timely....a compelling case..." symploke

    "There is much to admire in Jessica Berman's ambitious book, not the least of which is her construction of a rich interdisciplinary context in the chapters on the writers. These sections are so compelling that they could stand on their own.... But what is most striking about this study is the way it brilliantly reflects in its structure the central theoretical concept of compearance--the being-in-common or affiliation of radically different writers all responding to the threat of a looming totalitarian nationalism. In Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Community, each writer is remade in this connection with the others." Woolf Studies Annual

    "This is a most sophisticated and stimulating book, inspired by postcolonial inquiries into nationality and various political theories about the narrative construction of community." English Literature in Transition

    "Jessica Berman's energetic study of Henry James, Proust, Wolf, and Stein brings together these trends and these highest of modernists for a reconsideration of how 'community' works politically and in narrative....Readers interested in the political and literary implications of this effort will profit from careful engagement with Berman's skillful readings and with her challenge to re-imagine the community of international modernism." Novel

    "Original and well-argued." Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521032995
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 6 mm
    • weight: 0.387kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Cosmopolitan Communities
    Part II. Henry James:
    1. 'The history of the voice': Cosmopolitan's America
    2. Feminizing the nation: woman as cultural icon in late James
    Part III. Marcel Proust:
    3. Proust, Bernard Lazare and the politics of pariahdom
    4. The community, the prophet and the pariah: relation in A la recherche du temps perdu
    Part IV. Virginia Woolf:
    5. 'Splinter' and 'mosaic': towards the politics of connection
    6. Of oceans and opposition: the action of The Waves
    Part V. Gertrude Stein:
    7. Steinian topographies: the making of America
    8. Writing the 'I' that is 'they': Gertrude Stein's community of the subject
    Part VI. Conclusion

  • Author

    Jessica Berman, University of Maryland, Baltimore
    Jessica Berman is Assistant Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

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