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Wisps of Violence: Producing Public and Private Politics in the Turn-Of-The-Century British Novel

Sypher, Eileen

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ISBN 10: 0860914364 / ISBN 13: 9780860914365
Published by Verso, 1993
Used Condition: Good
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP86889941

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Wisps of Violence: Producing Public and ...

Publisher: Verso

Publication Date: 1993

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Eric Hobsbawm has characterized the period from 1880 to 1914 as 'years when wisps of violence hung in the English air', years in which increasingly militant socialists, anarchists and feminists seriously threatened the peace. Curiously, however, few novels of the period openly acknowledged this threat, whether to welcome or criticize it, and those which did under-represent the public political sphere.
By juxtaposing both well-known and lesser-known novels - such as Henry James' Princess Casamassima, Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, George Bernard Shaw's An Unsocial Socialist, and Gertrude Dix's The Image Breakers - and using the insights of feminist and Machereyan literary theory, Sypher interprets the image of turn-of-the-century politics produced by fiction. Wisps of Violence argues that this fiction tried to contain the threat of the new politics and the nascent collapse of distinct public and private spheres, by attempting to reinvent a separate, domestic sphere presided over by 'woman'. Though few of these novels are 'feminist' texts, they nevertheless suggest as a whole the subtle yet far-reaching extent of this period's social instability, particularly in the area of gender relations.

About the Author:

Eileen Sypher is Associate Professor of English at George Mason University in Virginia.

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