By Lecia Rosenthal
Mourning Modernism: Literature, disaster, and the Politics of comfort examines the writing of disaster, mass demise, and collective loss in 20th-century literature and feedback. With specific specialise in texts via Virginia Woolf, Walter Benjamin, and W.G. Sebald, Mourning Modernism engages the century's sign preoccupation with world-ending,a combined rhetoric of totality and rupture, finitude and survival, the top and its posthumous remainders. desirous about the specter of apocalypse, the century proliferates the spectacle of world-ending as a kind of hope, an ambivalent compulsion to devour and outlive the top of all.In dialog with contemporary discussions of the century's ardour for the true, and taking up the century's past due aesthetics of subtraction, Mourning Modernism reads the century's obsession with unfavourable varieties of finishing and end result. Drawing connections among the present curiosity within the class of trauma and the culture of the chic, Mourning Modernism reframes the phrases of the modernist test and its aesthetics of the breaking-point from the lens of a overdue elegant.
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Extra resources for Mourning Modernism: Literature, Catastrophe, and the Politics of Consolation
39 For Blanchot, the rhetorical and libidinal investment at work in the ‘‘end of history,’’ and with it the idealization of future-no-more, is problematic because it conjures totality only at the expense of any remaining possibility for critically rethinking the problem of totality. The threat and claim of the ‘‘end of history’’ short-circuits a serious problem, displacing it through an end run that leaves no way out, no more room to move. ’’ Kant addresses the obligation of the present precisely not to negatively limit, or unjustly constrain, the future, it is clear that he assumes there will be a future.
The catastrophe of the drama is the closing action. . In it the embarrassment of the chief characters is relieved through a great deed. . To the more recent poets, the catastrophe is accustomed to present difﬁculties. ’’45 ‘‘Shrinking Earth’’ The threat, and this is the great conﬁnement, is having in one’s head a reduced mental picture of the Earth—an Earth that is constantly ﬂown over, traversed and violated in its real size. That shrinking Earth is destroying me for that very reason, me, the planet-man who is no longer aware of any expanse at all.
36 Collating around the ‘‘double experience’’ of anticipation and its claims to the future, more than one word gathers in the attempt to think, and for Derrida to afﬁrm, the possibility of the more than already negated ‘‘negative,’’ a horizon of anticipation beyond or other to the work of amortization: the event, the other, the new. As for death, it can only ever be anticipated; there is no getting around it. The ‘‘Unprecedented’’ Foremost in our minds at this moment is of course the enormously increased human power of destruction, that we are able to destroy all organic life on earth and shall probably be able one day to destroy even the earth itself.