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作者 Greenberg, Jonathan Daniel
書名 Worldliness and wit: Satire and the grotesque in the late modernist novel
國際標準書號 9780493552767
book jacket
說明 310 p
附註 Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 63-02, Section: A, page: 0593
Advisers: Maria DiBattista; Michael G. Wood
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Princeton University, 2002
Worldliness and Wit: Satire and the Grotesque in the Late Modernist Novel argues for the importance of the interrelated aesthetic modes of satire and the grotesque to an understanding of modernist literature, particularly the fiction of the 1930s. Modernism, it maintains, can be understood not only through the traditional frameworks of philosophy, technique, or historical context, but also through its dominant sensibility ---a sensibility that is, broadly speaking, satiric in its reduction of the human to the level of the animal or mechanical. In-depth readings of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies and A Handful of Dust , Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust, and Djuna Barnes's Nightwood, as well as a brief afterword on Samuel Beckett's "Dante and the Lobster," illustrate how some of the most powerful fiction of the decade displays a central concern with questions of suffering and with the aesthetic problems that representations of suffering necessarily present. In these works, the rejection of sentimentality, and the consequent repudiation of emotion as a guarantee of moral and aesthetic value, lead to the rise of an aestheticizing, ironic, and often apparently cruel attitude toward suffering. Indeed, in one sense, a modern sensibility rests precisely on such a satiric capacity to laugh at pain
But if the writers under discussion vehemently reject the sentimental, they also demonstrate a more subtle discomfort with the triumph of irony. In these novels, cruel wit and indifferent worldliness produce grotesque representations of bodies as machine-like or animal-like that elicit revulsion as well as laughter, and thus betray an underlying ambivalence toward the ethical consequences of the modern sensibility. Late modernist satire, in other words, recoils in the face of its own dehumanizing representations. The emergence of uncanny anxiety in the responses of both characters and readers toward such grotesques paradoxically affirms the value emotion, although only in negative or aversive forms. Ultimately, then, the fiction of the thirties stubbornly insists on a residual notion of the ethical, based in a human capacity for feeling, yet it can only do so through the cruelly satiric work of negation
School code: 0181
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 63-02A
主題 Literature, Modern
Literature, American
Literature, English
Alt Author Princeton University
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