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The Oxford History of the Novel in EnglishVolume 7: British and Irish Fiction Since 1940$
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Peter Boxall and Bryan Cheyette

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198749394.001.0001

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The Continuities of Late Modernism: Before and after Beckett

The Continuities of Late Modernism: Before and after Beckett

(p.146) 9 The Continuities of Late Modernism: Before and after Beckett
The Oxford History of the Novel in English

Tyrus Miller

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents an extension of the scope of fictional writings that have been previously considered under the aegis of late modernism and some dialogical qualification of the historicizing framework implied by that term. A key development in recent criticism and the historical study of modernism is the steady increase in the number, complexity, and specificity of narratives about modernism’s development. Moreover, a certain historiographic ‘constructivism’ has become necessary to account for and mediate between overlapping, complementary, and somewhat contradictory histories of modernist culture with different national, linguistic, temporal, gender, and ethnic boundaries. This chapter places new emphasis on the positive role of late modernism in bridging the literary changes of mid-century, and accordingly downplay the idea of a putative ‘postmodernism’ on the other shore of a late modernist ‘transition’. It argues that late modernism embodies a paradoxically enduring mode of progress-in-ending.

Keywords:   late modernism, modernism, modernist culture, progress-in-ending, postmodernism, Samuel Beckett, late modernist fiction

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