Sara Haslam
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Personal perspectives
in Fragmenting modernism

This chapter analyses fragmentation in Ford Madox Ford's Edwardian novel, A Call: The Tale of Two Passions (1910), in what is essentially an exploration of the changing nature of sexual behaviour and sex roles. Sexual radicalism pre-dated the war. The new twentieth century had been named the ‘vaginal century’ before war began. The relationship between the sexes is cited by Samuel Hynes, Peter Gay and George Dangerfield, amongst others, as one of the extreme indicators of cultural upheaval in the Edwardian era. A Call investigates the repression of instincts, mental breakdown and the new threat of the ‘New Woman’. The codes of behaviour and the personal perspectives (of sex and society) which Ford takes as his subject matter in this novel were further and more conclusively fragmented by the sustained bombardment that was World War I.

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Fragmenting modernism

Ford Madox Ford, the novel and the Great War


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