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Blasted Literature

Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism

Deaglán Ó Donghaile

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Dynamite novels meet highbrow modernism via the impact of terrorism

Between 1880 and 1915, a range of writers exploited terrorism's political shocks for their own artistic ends. Drawing on late-Victorian 'dynamite novels' by authors including Robert Louis Stevenson, Tom Greer and Robert Thynne, radical journals and papers, such as The Irish People, The Torch, Anarchy and Freiheit, and modernist writing from H.G. Wells and Joseph Conrad to the compulsively militant modernism of Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists, Ó Donghaile maps the political and aesthetic connections that bind the shilling shocker closely to modernism.

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Introduction: Shock, Politics, Literature
1. Robert Louis Stevenson, Henry James and the City of Encounters
2. Imperialism and the Late Victorian Dynamite Novel
3. Exploiting the Apostles of Destruction: Anarchism, Modernism and the Penny Dreadful
4. 'The Doctrine of Dynamite': Anarchist Literature and Terrorist Violence
5. Shock Modernism: Blast and the Radical Politics of Vorticism
Conclusion: Literature and 'the resources of civilization'

About the Author

Deaglán Ó Donghaile is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Cultural History at Liverpool John Moores University

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