Modernism and the Fate of Individuality


Michael Levenson, author of the acclaimed A Genealogy of Modernism, devotes this second book to the complex question of the self, the individual subject, as it undergoes various transitions throughout the period we designate 'modernist'. The book is an elaborate and compelling engagement with the problem of individuality in our age, structured around a sophisticated reading of eight major novels by Conrad, James, Forster, Madox Ford, Lewis, Lawrence, Joyce and Woolf. Professor Levenson takes account of the large body of modern theoretical writing on this topic, and his study will be of interest to theorists, cultural historians, and literary scholars in equal measure. It addresses issues (the crisis of liberalism, challenge to Eurocentrism, advance of bureaucracy, contest between men and women) still of crucial concern in our culture, showing that the problem, when it comes to locating the self within the entanglements of a community, is one of defining a formal concept while at the same time preserving a moral value.

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