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best of times is not only a calamity, but an outrage on humanity’.2 Bloomsbury were not exclusive in their response to the Great War and, in fact, could be viewed as merely the ‘tip of the iceberg’ of aesthetic or humanistic opposition. As we have found, though not the totality of anti-war feeling, occurrences of individualistic aesthetic, humanistic or moral opposition were both varied and widespread. To a certain extent, this was due to cultural legacies from the previous century – a period which had witnessed the solid individualism of entrepreneurial endeavour

in A war of individuals
International man of stories

paradoxes and injustices to emerge in character and situation. How people treat one another as individuals, often in situations where exploitation and manipulation have become the norm, is more significant than whether they adhere to any particular political ideology. It might therefore be claimed – as it often is about nineteenth-century liberal novelists – that, in a subcontinent increasingly characterised by hegemonic, communalist and neocolonial power, such liberal individualism, blind to class structures, allows the writer to diagnose contemporary ills but, at the

in Rohinton Mistry
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Defining the nation differently

vibrant [market] network’. This decentred network, through which goods, news and new ideas for songs were constantly exchanged, was one, he further notes, for which women had responsibility. Neatly weighed against his story of the ‘girl at war’ featured in my introduction, Achebe’s sketch of an internally networked nation, enshrining community values yet incorporating individualism, and part-managed by women, traces another pathway towards a concept of the nation with which women might choose to identify. But why do I insist upon testing the viability of that seeming

in Stories of women

Calle, ‘seeing what happens’ always includes seeing what happens to herself,tracking her own experience as primed and prompted by the context of the experiment. Her ‘own’ experience here is, we might say, an ‘experimental experience’, an experience of the kind made accessible in and through the promotion of what Celia Lury calls ‘experimental individualism’. Conceived as a contemporary alternative to the norm of ‘possessive individualism’, this is a mode in which the individuality, identity or biography of the person can be prosthetically disassembled and reassembled

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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Emily Dickinson, published in 1990.33 In Sexual Personae Paglia undertakes an interpretative journey into historical and philosophical representations of men and women. Dealing in polarities, the one with which she is most concerned is that of nature and culture; culture, in the form of society and the things it builds, is the masculine standing in direct opposition to that of which it lives in constant fear: nature, the feminine. Grimshaw’s experience is invoked by her maxim that ‘Individualism, the self unconstrained by Society, leads to the coarser servitude of

in Fragmenting modernism

caused by feminists amongst others. I will be returning to how individualism has historically been used as a charge against those who question existing social norms (such as the family) in future posts. 3 I do recognise that when a call, or even a demand, is transformed into a mandate, things change. But let’s be clear: anything can become a technique to manage difference. In On Being Included (Ahmed, 2012), I explored how equality becomes part of audit culture: something that can be measured. It was tricky to make this critique. Equality becomes a political idea and

in The power of vulnerability

at school than their brothers, due to their perception of education as empowering, as a means of extending the limited opportunities of their domestic culture, a perception surely intensified by the working-class origins of all three narrators. It is not surprising that constant exposure to the ‘liberalising’ individualism of Western values strikes a particularly resonant chord with beur adolescent girls on the threshhold of adulthood, an adulthood which their culture of origin typically represents as a diminishment of freedom and opportunities in the form of an

in Women’s writing in contemporary France
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policy. Both Dickinson and Russell, according to the academic M.R. Pollock, shared the ‘uncompromising individualism’ of the conscientious objectors (whom they both supported in the Liberal press) and were engaged upon a crusade for moral principles, their ideals being those of the Cambridge Apostles: beauty, friendship, love, reason, individualism and private conscience. ‘Passion is needed’, wrote Dickinson in the Nation, ‘for the real things, for good instead of evil, for truth instead of lies, for love instead of hate. To turn it into those channels, the friends of

in A war of individuals
Irish fiction and autobiography since 1990

-looking present. These writers’ fictional engagements with the past calls into question the categories by which it can be examined, at the same time as they refuse to simplify or mythicise complex experiences for the sake of a well-made story. For other contemporary writers, it is the emergence of a post-historical Irish consciousness which is largely indifferent to the national past and its received meanings that compels. The faultlines between inherited mind-sets which valorise Irishness and a new cosmopolitan individualism are beginning to be mapped fictionally with varying

in Irish literature since 1990
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Fiction of Bapsi Sidhwa, Rohinton Mistry and Yasmine Gooneratne’, in the Dodiya volume. Writing of A Fine Balance, Viswanath laments that Dina’s newfound ‘economic empowerment’ as the tailors’ employer is short-lived, and ‘the narrative (significantly that of a male), unable to sustain feminist individualism’,20 returns her to her brother’s household. A more careful reading of the novel would presumably have made apparent the fact that the ‘power’ Dina temporarily enjoys is flawed and complicit with a wider network Morey_Mistry_06_Ch6 156 9/6/04, 4:16 pm Critical

in Rohinton Mistry