By David Bradshaw
This concise spouse bargains an cutting edge method of realizing the Modernist literary brain in Britain, concentrating on the highbrow and cultural contexts, which formed it.
Offers an cutting edge method of figuring out the Modernist literary brain in Britain.
Helps readers to understand the highbrow and cultural contexts of literary Modernism.
Organised round modern principles corresponding to Freudianism and eugenics instead of literary genres.
Relates literary Modernism to the overarching problems with the interval, comparable to feminism, imperialism and battle.
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Additional info for A Concise Companion to Modernism
In fiction, the humanitarian New Woman writer Mona Caird interrogated the hereditarian position, exposing the bias of biology and reclaiming the importance of environment and culture in shaping individuals (see Richardson 2001, 2002). She pursued the same line of argument as Huxley, arguing that nature was at best “primitive impulse and law, unmodified by human intelligence or moral development” (1894: 231). Human civilization and nature were at odds. The “primitive” mind was set against its transformed version in the social self.
These narratives were coming into their own in the late 1800s and are exemplified in the work of novelist Grant Allen. In his treatise of 1877, Physiological Aesthetics (dedicated to Herbert Spencer), Allen set out his object as “to exhibit the purely physical origin of the sense of beauty, and its relativity to our nervous organization” (2). For Allen, beauty is joined to function. In an essay in Mind, he wrote there must be “such an intimate correspondence between the needs and tastes of each species, that the sight and voice of a healthy, normal, well-formed mate must have become intrinsically pleas23 Angelique Richardson ing for its own sake, as well as indirectly for its associations,” extrapolating from this: the heart and core of such a fixed hereditary taste for each species must consist in the appreciation of the pure and healthy typical specific form.
Porter 1997: 8; T. M. Porter 1990). ” Integrating popular biology with social argument through analogy, he condensed laws of society and laws of physiology, and argued that life (including the life of society) was moving inevitably toward higher forms. Spencer opposed any state intervention, aggressively promoting, instead, laissez-faire capitalism as the social form most likely to allow each individual to exercise their powers fully in the service of the community. The pressures of competition would, he believed, ensure optimum adaptation and hence progress.