Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Modernist InformaticsLiterature, Information, and the State$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James Purdon

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190211691

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190211691.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 30 March 2020

Dossier Fiction

Dossier Fiction

(p.55) 2. Dossier Fiction
Modernist Informatics

James Purdon

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 concentrates on a particular kind of scene that emerged and proliferated in fiction after the First World War. This is the scene of identification, in which protagonists confront their own bureaucratic ghosts, or “data doubles,” as set out in new technologies such as passports, files, identity cards, army records, driving permits, and intelligence dossiers. Tracing the development of such scenes from Arnold Bennett’s Riceyman Steps (1923) through Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End (1924–1928), and ultimately to novels by Graham Greene and Eric Ambler, this chapter advances an argument about the changing understanding of identity, identification, and their representation in fiction between the world wars. In short, it argues that writers and official institutions confronted similar problems in reconciling the parts of a modern self newly split into the objectively measurable fixity of bureaucratic identity on the one hand and the mutability of temporal, embodied experience on the other.

Keywords:   Ford Madox Ford, Graham Greene, Eric Ambler, Arnold Bennett, files, passports, identification, identity

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .