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Chapter 1 - Introduction

Modernist Tragedy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2020

Manya Lempert
Affiliation:
University of Arizona
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Summary

This introduction explains (1) these authors’ fascination with Greek tragedy, (2) their modern reenvisioning of it in contrast to consolatory philosophies of tragedy and science, (3) their representation instead of a natural world that is a source of terror, and (4) their stand against nihilism in the face of such terror. My contention is that for Hardy, Woolf, Camus, and Beckett, tragedy is not a genre that defends or valorizes pain. Tragedy is a genre of insurrectionary truth-telling. I suggest that their tragic fiction models or incites desire for solidarity in the face of inhuman time scales and the destructiveness and chanciness of natural history. These writers recognize, too, that modern European history acts as (rather than banishes) tragic fatality. Engaging with tragedy, these authors devise strategies to evoke and indict both natural accident and manmade violence.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

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  • Introduction
  • Manya Lempert, University of Arizona
  • Book: Tragedy and the Modernist Novel
  • Online publication: 20 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108865616.001
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  • Introduction
  • Manya Lempert, University of Arizona
  • Book: Tragedy and the Modernist Novel
  • Online publication: 20 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108865616.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Manya Lempert, University of Arizona
  • Book: Tragedy and the Modernist Novel
  • Online publication: 20 August 2020
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108865616.001
Available formats
×