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The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century Literatures in English

Edited by Brian McHale, Randall Stevenson

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An imaginatively constructed new literary history of the twentieth century

This companion with a difference sets a controversial new agenda for literary-historical analysis. Far from the usual forced march through the decades, genres and national literatures, this reference work for the new century cuts across familiar categories, focusing instead on literary ‘hot spots’: Freud’s Vienna and Conrad’s Congo in 1899, Chicago and London in 1912, the Somme in July 1916, Dublin, London and Harlem in 1922, and so on, down to Bradford and Berlin in 1989 (the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the new digital media), Stockholm in 1993 (Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize) and September 11, 2001.

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Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction: On or about December 1910, London: Introduction
Brian McHale and Randall Stevenson
Section I. The First Moderns
Chapter One. 1899, Vienna and the Congo: The Art of Darkness
Vassiliki Kolocotroni
Chapter Two. 1912, London, Chicago, Florence and New York: Modernist Moments, Feminist Mappings
Linda Kinnahan
Chapter Three. 1916, Flanders, London and Dublin: 'Everything Has Gone Well'
Randall Stevenson
Chapter Four. 1922, Paris, New York, London: The Modernist as International Hero.
Michael North
Section II. Between the Wars
Chapter Five. 1925, London, New York, Paris: Metropolitan Modernisms - Parallax and Palimpsest
Jane Goldman
Chapter Six. 1928, London: A Strange Interlude
Chris Baldick
Chapter Seven: 1936, Madrid: The Heart of the World
Cary Nelson
Chapter Eight. 1941, London Under the Blitz: Culture as Counter-History
Tyrus Miller
Section III. Cold War and Empire's Ebb
Chapter Nine. 1944, Melbourne and Adelaide: The Ern Malley Hoax
Philip Mead
Chapter Ten. May, 1955, Disneyland: 'The Happiest Place on Earth' and the Fiction of Cold War Culture
Alan Nadel
Chapter Eleven. 1956, Suez and Sloane Square: Empire's Ebb and Flow
Rick Rylance
Chapter Twelve. 1960, Lagos and Nairobi: 'Things Fall Apart' and 'The Empire Writes Back'
Patrick Williams
Chapter Thirteen. 1961, Jerusalem: Eichmann and the Ethic of Complicity
R. Clifton Spargo
Chapter Fourteen. 1963, London: The Myth of the Artist and the Woman Writer
Patricia Waugh
Section IV. Millennium Approaches
Chapter Fifteen. 1967, Liverpool, London, San Francisco and Vietnam: 'We Hope You Will Enjoy the Show'
John Hellmann
Chapter Sixteen. 1973, Planet Earth: The Imagination of the Global
Ursula K. Heise
Chapter Seventeen. 1979, Edinburgh and Glasgow: Devolution Deferred
Cairns Craig
Chapter Eighteen. 1989, Berlin and Bradford: Out of the Cold, Into the Fire
Andrew Teverson
Chapter Nineteen. February 11th 1990, South Africa: Apartheid and After
Louise Bethlehem
Chapter Twenty. 1991, The Web: Network Fictions
Joseph Tabbi
Chapter Twenty-One. 1993, Stockholm: A Prize for Toni Morrison
Abdulrazak Gurnah
Coda: September 11, 2001, New York: Two Y2K's
Brian McHale and Randall Stevenson
Notes on Contributors
Index.List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Introduction: On or about December 1910, London: Introduction
Brian McHale and Randall Stevenson
Section I. The First Moderns
Chapter One. 1899, Vienna and the Congo: The Art of Darkness
Vassiliki Kolocotroni
Chapter Two. 1912, London, Chicago, Florence and New York: Modernist Moments, Feminist Mappings
Linda Kinnahan
Chapter Three. 1916, Flanders, London and Dublin: 'Everything Has Gone Well'
Randall Stevenson
Chapter Four. 1922, Paris, New York, London: The Modernist as International Hero.
Michael North
Section II. Between the Wars
Chapter Five. 1925, London, New York, Paris: Metropolitan Modernisms - Parallax and Palimpsest
Jane Goldman
Chapter Six. 1928, London: A Strange Interlude
Chris Baldick
Chapter Seven: 1936, Madrid: The Heart of the World
Cary Nelson
Chapter Eight. 1941, London Under the Blitz: Culture as Counter-History
Tyrus Miller
Section III. Cold War and Empire's Ebb
Chapter Nine. 1944, Melbourne and Adelaide: The Ern Malley Hoax
Philip Mead
Chapter Ten. May, 1955, Disneyland: 'The Happiest Place on Earth' and the Fiction of Cold War Culture
Alan Nadel
Chapter Eleven. 1956, Suez and Sloane Square: Empire's Ebb and Flow
Rick Rylance
Chapter Twelve. 1960, Lagos and Nairobi: 'Things Fall Apart' and 'The Empire Writes Back'
Patrick Williams
Chapter Thirteen. 1961, Jerusalem: Eichmann and the Ethic of Complicity
R. Clifton Spargo
Chapter Fourteen. 1963, London: The Myth of the Artist and the Woman Writer
Patricia Waugh
Section IV. Millennium Approaches
Chapter Fifteen. 1967, Liverpool, London, San Francisco and Vietnam: 'We Hope You Will Enjoy the Show'
John Hellmann
Chapter Sixteen. 1973, Planet Earth: The Imagination of the Global
Ursula K. Heise
Chapter Seventeen. 1979, Edinburgh and Glasgow: Devolution Deferred
Cairns Craig
Chapter Eighteen. 1989, Berlin and Bradford: Out of the Cold, Into the Fire
Andrew Teverson
Chapter Nineteen. February 11th 1990, South Africa: Apartheid and After
Louise Bethlehem
Chapter Twenty. 1991, The Web: Network Fictions
Joseph Tabbi
Chapter Twenty-One. 1993, Stockholm: A Prize for Toni Morrison
Abdulrazak Gurnah
Coda: September 11, 2001, New York: Two Y2K's
Brian McHale and Randall Stevenson
Notes on Contributors
Index.

About the Author

Brian McHale is Distinguished Humanities Professor in English at the Ohio State University. He is the author of Postmodernist Fiction (1987), Constructing Postmodernism (1992), and The Obligation toward the Difficult Whole: Postmodernist Long Poems (2004), named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2004. For many years affiliated with the Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics at Tel Aviv University, he was an editor of the journal Poetics Today from 1979 to 2004.

Randall Stevenson is Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Edinburgh. Born in the north of Scotland, grew up in Glasgow and studied in the universities of Edinburgh and Oxford. Lectured on modern literature in 15 countries in Europe and in Nigeria, South Korea and Egypt. General Editor of the Edinburgh History of Twentieth-Century Literature in Britain series.

Reviews

Contentious and bold ... the volume articulates a new framework for thinking about literary history and the subject of English, befitting the radicalist and reformist purport of the literary project in the innovation-driven, criss-crossing of the 'street of the twentieth century'.
- English
McHale and Randall Stevenson have assembled fascinating essays focusing on the intersections between dates, places, events, and literature ... They succeed in providing a fresh view not often found in companions ... This collection of thought-provoking essays will be indispensable to students of literature.
- M.L.Jackson, University of Alabama, Choice
Readers wishing to explore the literature, cultural movements and history of the period will find much to stimulate and even surprise them in this book...
- Reference Reviews
The moment for this book is absolutely perfect. . . It instructs both by its programmatic statements and by the success of its examples. The book stands to make a genuinely outstanding contribution.
- Bruce Robbins, Department of English, Columbia University
This intriguing and informative book rides the updraught provided by the continuing popularity of guides and companions, but also performs some surprising and fascinating new mid-air manoeuvres with the form. The . . . reshuffling of the literary-historical deck in this volume is refreshing and illuminating for student readers too.
- Steven Connor, School of English and Humanities, Birkbeck College, University of London

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