Chapter

Introduction

Lecia Rosenthal

in Mourning Modernism

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233977
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241200 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233977.003.0001
Introduction

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This book focuses on the writing of finitude and catastrophe in the twentieth century, taking as its point of departure the oft-repeated, epochalizing characterization of the century as a turning point in the history of violence and destruction, or the pivotal yet ambivalent claim that for the first time in the history of the world, humanity has the power to bring about the end of human life, to annihilate the human as species and ideal. Literary criticism, and so-called nuclear criticism in particular, has taken up the fantasy of such an unprecedented, all-encompassing, and remainderless end, and the problems it raises for thinking the last and unsurvivable event, the event that would break with all thought and any writing of the event.

Keywords: finitude; catastrophe; literary criticism; nuclear criticism; writing

Chapter.  2854 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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