Tragedy and the Modernist Novel

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1 Scopus citations


This study of tragic fiction in European modernism brings together novelists who espoused, in their view, a Greek vision of tragedy and a Darwinian vision of nature. To their minds, both tragedy and natural history disclosed unwarranted suffering at the center of life. Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Albert Camus, and Samuel Beckett broke with entrenched philosophical and scientific traditions that sought to exclude chance, undeserved pains from tragedy and evolutionary biology. Tragedy and the Modernist Novel uncovers a temporality central to tragic novels' structure and ethics: that of the moment. These authors made novelistic plot the delivery system for lethal natural and historical forces, and then countered such plot with moments of protest - characters' fleeting dissent against unjustifiable harms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages242
ISBN (Electronic)9781108865616
ISBN (Print)9781108496025
StatePublished - Sep 10 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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