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Precarious Voices: Moderns, Moods, and Moving Epochs.

Waugh, Patricia



David Bradshaw

Laura Marcus

Rebecca Roach


This chapter takes up questions of ‘‘moods and voices’ in the modern British novel. In its focus on ‘moving epochs’ it also offers a critique of literary periodization and of approaches to modernist literature and culture which have rendered the rich and complex novels of the mid-twentieth century merely an ‘after modernism’: the texts of this period, it is argued, are too often misunderstood or diminished. It points in particular to the ‘distributed’ exposition of mind, through a broadly phenomenological grasp of the structures of experience, running throughout the fiction of the twentieth century from Franz Kafka, Virginia Woolf, Marcel Proust, and William Faulkner onwards. Many of the most compelling novels of the 1950s (including work by Muriel Spark, William Sansom, William Golding, Elizabeth Bowen, and Samuel Beckett) employed expressionist techniques, born of phenomenological insights, to imagine worlds that reflect disturbed minds and alienated outsiders.


Waugh, P. (2016). Precarious Voices: Moderns, Moods, and Moving Epochs. In D. Bradshaw, L. Marcus, & R. Roach (Eds.), Moving Modernisms: Motion, Technology, and Modernity (191-216). Oxford University Press.

Online Publication Date Jul 14, 2016
Publication Date 2016-07
Deposit Date Jan 24, 2017
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 191-216
Book Title Moving Modernisms: Motion, Technology, and Modernity.
Chapter Number 14
ISBN 9780198714170