A Concise Companion to Modernism (Concise Companions to by David Bradshaw

By David Bradshaw

This concise better half bargains an leading edge method of figuring out the Modernist literary brain in Britain, concentrating on the highbrow and cultural contexts, which formed it. deals an cutting edge method of realizing the Modernist literary brain in Britain. is helping readers to know the highbrow and cultural contexts of literary Modernism. Organised round modern rules similar to Freudianism and eugenics instead of literary genres. Relates literary Modernism to the overarching problems with the interval, reminiscent of feminism, imperialism and conflict.

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Maximilian Mügge . . who occasionally lectured for the Eugenics Education Society, wrote in 1909 in the first volume of the Eugenics Review that Galton had founded a racial religion: the ideal of the super-man would supply the religious feeling of responsibility which would give the science its popular support. Havelock Ellis, another founding member of the [Eugenics Education] Society, was also one of Nietzsche’s most prolific exponents in English . . The commentators at this time generally saw Nietzsche as the philosopher of Darwinism and evolution whose Übermensch was the forerunner of a new human race, a master race.

There was no way back; but through a new, improved, and sexually responsible Eve, there might be a way forward, a way of regaining paradise lost. Reversing the androcentric bias of Darwin’s account of human sexual selection, which assigned to men the power of selection, socialpurity feminists argued that women would make sexual choices that would improve the health of the nation. Eugenics, the “natural” solution to the “population question,” was figured as kind and feminine. In the Eugenics Review, founded by the Eugenics Education Society in 1909, Mrs.

Wells depicted the descent of the urban working class into violent anarchy, and the ruling class into decadence and neurosis (see Pick 1989: 157–9). And in Dracula (1897), Bram Stoker’s embodiment of contemporary fears, degeneration is represented, and displaced onto a foreign count who is finally conquered with a wooden stake. Nonetheless, the novel does not allay fears: contagion seeps through it; disease passes, invisibly, relentlessly, between bodies (see Pick 1989: 167– 75). And, like the women that the state had sought to regulate in the second half on the nineteenth century, under the Contagious Diseases Acts, women in Dracula spread contagion: “nothing can be more dreadful than those awful women, who were, who are, waiting to suck my blood” (Dracula, ch.

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