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Modernist Empathy
Geography, Elegy, and the Uncanny

$80.00 ( ) USD

  • Date Published: June 2019
  • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • format: Adobe eBook Reader
  • isbn: 9781108598743

$ 80.00 USD ( )
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About the Authors
  • This book shows how reading modernist literature gives us a fresh and necessary insight into both the tensions within the empathetic imagination and the idea of empathy itself. Writers such as Thomas Hardy, Ford Madox Ford, Mary Borden, T. S. Eliot, and Virginia Woolf encourage us to enter other perspectives even as they question the boundaries between self and other and, hence, the very possibility of empathy. Eve Sorum maintains that we must think through this complex literary heritage, focusing on the geographic and elegiac modes of the empathetic imagination, and revealing empathy as more fraught, threatening, and even uncanny than it first appears. Modernist Empathy thereby forges a theory of literary empathy as an act not of orientation, but of disorientation, thereby enriching our contemporary understanding of both modernist literature and the concept of literary empathy.

    • Provides a new perspective on the works of Hardy, Ford, Barton, Woolf, and Eliot
    • Shows how a new form of empathy arose in a context of cultural, social, and political transformation, with special attention given to World War I
    • Argues that modernist literary texts perform and examine empathy within abstraction
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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2019
    • format: Adobe eBook Reader
    • isbn: 9781108598743
    • contains: 1 b/w illus.
    • availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
  • Table of Contents

    1. Modernizing empathy, locating loss
    2. Disorientation, elegy, and the uncanny: modernist empathy through Hardy
    3. Disorienting empathy: World War I and the traumas of perspective-taking
    4. Elegizing empathy: Eliot and the subject-object divide
    5. Uncanny empathy: Woolf's half-life of objects
    Conclusion: performing empathy?
    Works cited

  • Author

    Eve C. Sorum, University of Massachusetts, Boston
    Eve Sorum is Associate Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and was a Fulbright Scholar in Burkina Faso in 2013–14. She has published articles and essays on a range of topics, including the masochistic aesthetics of T. S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf, poetic self-elegies, and the democratic nostalgia of W. H. Auden.

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