Introduction

Robert Lawrence Caserio, Jr.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The following chapters attempt a comprehensive overview of the twentieth-century English novel. Their attempt is unusual, because literary history customarily divides the last century into distinct halves. The first half of the customary division, ending with World War II, focuses on modernist authors and works and their contexts, and thereby consolidates modernism's great achievements in fiction. The second half hypothesizes a postmodern age, and treats fiction in light of hypotheses about what postmodernism is (one of the hypotheses is that postmodernism abandons thinking in terms of great artistic achievements). Sound, subtle and fruitful reasoning, by numerous distinguished commentators, justifies such an apportionment of literary history. But the separation also tends to compartmentalize knowledge, and to insure itself against challenge. Although compartmentalizing need not refute continuities, it does not always stimulate awareness of them. This volume, bridging pre-1945 and post-1945 fiction, searches out more continuities between modernism and postmodernism than meet the eye. It explores dynamic similarities as well as contrasts among novels that span generational, cultural, and contextual differences. It is common for literary historians to consider post-Windrush novelists, who left behind their colonial origins in exchange for life in London, as doubly figures of exile: dislocated from their first home, yet unable to be at ease in their second home, hence perpetually diasporic. What is not common is for literary historians to consider ways in which such an exilic condition is prefigured in the modernist moment, and is attached to it - in terms of repetition and variation - via Henry James, Conrad, Joyce, and Lawrence's self-imposed exiles, or in terms of feminist or “minority” writers who feel internally if not externally exiled from gender roles or social orders that regulate their experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages1-9
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781139002516
ISBN (Print)9780521884167
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

Fingerprint

Fiction
Postmodernism
Modernist
Continuity
Exile
Literary History
Literary Historians
Henry James
Writer
Minorities
Gender Roles
Sound
Novel
Colonies
Second World War
Social Order
Novelist
Contextual
Commentators
English Novel

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Caserio, Jr., R. L. (2009). Introduction. In The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel (pp. 1-9). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521884167.001
Caserio, Jr., Robert Lawrence. / Introduction. The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel. Cambridge University Press, 2009. pp. 1-9
@inbook{b0c0bc5056d34000baed30e614ee6184,
title = "Introduction",
abstract = "The following chapters attempt a comprehensive overview of the twentieth-century English novel. Their attempt is unusual, because literary history customarily divides the last century into distinct halves. The first half of the customary division, ending with World War II, focuses on modernist authors and works and their contexts, and thereby consolidates modernism's great achievements in fiction. The second half hypothesizes a postmodern age, and treats fiction in light of hypotheses about what postmodernism is (one of the hypotheses is that postmodernism abandons thinking in terms of great artistic achievements). Sound, subtle and fruitful reasoning, by numerous distinguished commentators, justifies such an apportionment of literary history. But the separation also tends to compartmentalize knowledge, and to insure itself against challenge. Although compartmentalizing need not refute continuities, it does not always stimulate awareness of them. This volume, bridging pre-1945 and post-1945 fiction, searches out more continuities between modernism and postmodernism than meet the eye. It explores dynamic similarities as well as contrasts among novels that span generational, cultural, and contextual differences. It is common for literary historians to consider post-Windrush novelists, who left behind their colonial origins in exchange for life in London, as doubly figures of exile: dislocated from their first home, yet unable to be at ease in their second home, hence perpetually diasporic. What is not common is for literary historians to consider ways in which such an exilic condition is prefigured in the modernist moment, and is attached to it - in terms of repetition and variation - via Henry James, Conrad, Joyce, and Lawrence's self-imposed exiles, or in terms of feminist or “minority” writers who feel internally if not externally exiled from gender roles or social orders that regulate their experience.",
author = "{Caserio, Jr.}, {Robert Lawrence}",
year = "2009",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1017/CCOL9780521884167.001",
language = "English (US)",
isbn = "9780521884167",
pages = "1--9",
booktitle = "The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel",
publisher = "Cambridge University Press",
address = "United Kingdom",

}

Caserio, Jr., RL 2009, Introduction. in The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521884167.001

Introduction. / Caserio, Jr., Robert Lawrence.

The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel. Cambridge University Press, 2009. p. 1-9.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

TY - CHAP

T1 - Introduction

AU - Caserio, Jr., Robert Lawrence

PY - 2009/1/1

Y1 - 2009/1/1

N2 - The following chapters attempt a comprehensive overview of the twentieth-century English novel. Their attempt is unusual, because literary history customarily divides the last century into distinct halves. The first half of the customary division, ending with World War II, focuses on modernist authors and works and their contexts, and thereby consolidates modernism's great achievements in fiction. The second half hypothesizes a postmodern age, and treats fiction in light of hypotheses about what postmodernism is (one of the hypotheses is that postmodernism abandons thinking in terms of great artistic achievements). Sound, subtle and fruitful reasoning, by numerous distinguished commentators, justifies such an apportionment of literary history. But the separation also tends to compartmentalize knowledge, and to insure itself against challenge. Although compartmentalizing need not refute continuities, it does not always stimulate awareness of them. This volume, bridging pre-1945 and post-1945 fiction, searches out more continuities between modernism and postmodernism than meet the eye. It explores dynamic similarities as well as contrasts among novels that span generational, cultural, and contextual differences. It is common for literary historians to consider post-Windrush novelists, who left behind their colonial origins in exchange for life in London, as doubly figures of exile: dislocated from their first home, yet unable to be at ease in their second home, hence perpetually diasporic. What is not common is for literary historians to consider ways in which such an exilic condition is prefigured in the modernist moment, and is attached to it - in terms of repetition and variation - via Henry James, Conrad, Joyce, and Lawrence's self-imposed exiles, or in terms of feminist or “minority” writers who feel internally if not externally exiled from gender roles or social orders that regulate their experience.

AB - The following chapters attempt a comprehensive overview of the twentieth-century English novel. Their attempt is unusual, because literary history customarily divides the last century into distinct halves. The first half of the customary division, ending with World War II, focuses on modernist authors and works and their contexts, and thereby consolidates modernism's great achievements in fiction. The second half hypothesizes a postmodern age, and treats fiction in light of hypotheses about what postmodernism is (one of the hypotheses is that postmodernism abandons thinking in terms of great artistic achievements). Sound, subtle and fruitful reasoning, by numerous distinguished commentators, justifies such an apportionment of literary history. But the separation also tends to compartmentalize knowledge, and to insure itself against challenge. Although compartmentalizing need not refute continuities, it does not always stimulate awareness of them. This volume, bridging pre-1945 and post-1945 fiction, searches out more continuities between modernism and postmodernism than meet the eye. It explores dynamic similarities as well as contrasts among novels that span generational, cultural, and contextual differences. It is common for literary historians to consider post-Windrush novelists, who left behind their colonial origins in exchange for life in London, as doubly figures of exile: dislocated from their first home, yet unable to be at ease in their second home, hence perpetually diasporic. What is not common is for literary historians to consider ways in which such an exilic condition is prefigured in the modernist moment, and is attached to it - in terms of repetition and variation - via Henry James, Conrad, Joyce, and Lawrence's self-imposed exiles, or in terms of feminist or “minority” writers who feel internally if not externally exiled from gender roles or social orders that regulate their experience.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84927116869&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84927116869&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1017/CCOL9780521884167.001

DO - 10.1017/CCOL9780521884167.001

M3 - Chapter

AN - SCOPUS:84927116869

SN - 9780521884167

SP - 1

EP - 9

BT - The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel

PB - Cambridge University Press

ER -

Caserio, Jr. RL. Introduction. In The Cambridge Companion to the Twentieth-Century English Novel. Cambridge University Press. 2009. p. 1-9 https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521884167.001