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Discrepant SolaceContemporary Literature and the Work of Consolation$
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David James

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198789758

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198789758.001.0001

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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: 14 July 2020

Fetched from Oblivion

Fetched from Oblivion

Chapter:
(p.41) 1 Fetched from Oblivion
Source:
Discrepant Solace
Author(s):

David James

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198789758.003.0001

This opening chapter traces a modernist genealogy for the poetics of consolation in contemporary writing. It considers the way Virginia Woolf probed in self-contesting fashion the consolations of experimental form. The legacy of her arguments with the redemptive efficacy of aesthetic form in To the Lighthouse (1927) becomes evident even in contemporary novels that maintain a combative stance towards modernism itself. Ian McEwan’s Atonement (2001) is one such text: a genre-medley of wartime romance and high-modernist pastiche that dissects the ethical ramifications of solace as a contentious aspect of artistic reparation, especially when that reparative impulse also turns out to be a morally compromised stimulus for artistic creativity.

Keywords:   Modernism, literary impressionism, Ian McEwan, Virginia Woolf, war, redemption, atonement

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