This book is about Ford Madox Ford, a hero of the modernist literary revolution. Ford is a fascinating and fundamental figure of the time; not only because, as a friend and critic of Ezra Pound and Joseph Conrad, editor of the English Review and author of The Good Soldier, he shaped the development of literary modernism. But, as the grandson of Ford Madox Brown and son of a German music critic, he also manifested formative links with mainland European culture and the visual arts. In Ford there is the chance to explore continuity in artistic life at the turn of the last century, as well as the more commonly identified pattern of crisis in the time. The argument throughout the book is that modernism possesses more than one face. Setting Ford in his cultural and historical context, the opening chapter debates the concept of fragmentation in modernism; later chapters discuss the notion of the personal narrative, and war writing. Ford's literary technique is studied comparatively and plot summaries of his major books (The Good Soldier and Parade's End) are provided, as is a brief biography.
’.17 Ford really means another
kind of novel, a post-railway-age novel, one that, though modern and
realistic, perhaps overall need not be fragmentary. In modern times,
Ford-the-catastrophist asserts in The English Novel: From the Earliest
Days to the Death of JosephConrad, humanity has ‘scrapped a whole
culture; the Greek anthology and Tibullus and Catullus have gone the
way of the earliest locomotive and the first Tin Lizzie. We have, then,
to supply their places – and there is only the novel that for the moment
seems in the least likely or equipped to do so’.18
The island as collective in the works of Louis Becke
his contacts Rudyard Kipling, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Mark Twain. Yet despite his position among the literary elite of his day, Becke’s work remains largely out of print. Today, Becke’s stories are rarely read or taught in classrooms, appearing only in a few anthologies (usually of ‘South Seas Stories’). So why do his contemporaries in the field of short fiction – JosephConrad, Rudyard Kipling, and Robert Louis Stevenson – remain a vital part of the English literary canon while Becke has quietly slipped into obscurity?
Part of the answer lies in Becke
-colonial Theory: A Reader
(Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf Press, 1993), p. 177.
2 See for example Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and
Transculturation (London: Routledge, 1992); Sara Mills, Discourses of
Difference: An Analysis of Women’s Travel Writing and Colonialism (London:
Routledge, 1993); V.Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy,
and the Order of Knowledge (London: James Currey, 1988).
3 JosephConrad, ‘Letter to Elsie Hueffer, 3 December 1902’, in Frederick R.
Karl, The Collected Letters of JosephConrad, volume 2, 1898–1902, ed
What creates intimacy between dissimilar things? Is it enough for two poems to stand beside one another? In the Exeter Book, the verses nestled among the riddles have heightened enigmatic qualities, sometimes urging us to count them among the cryptic hundred.
Andreas and the Fates
Stevenson: A Record of Friendship and
Criticism (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1948), p. 70.
P. Middleton and T. Woods, Literatures of Memory: History, Time and Space in Postwar
Writing (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000), p. 7.
Ibid., p. 8.
B. Ashcroft and P. Ahluwalia, Edward Said: The Paradox of Identity (London: Routledge,
1999), p. 42.
E. Goodheart, Does Literary Studies Have a Future? (Madison: University of Wisconsin
Press, 1999), p. 116.
F. R. Leavis, The Great Tradition (London: Penguin, 1962), p. 194; A. White, JosephConrad
and the Adventure
Language, lies and the crisis of representation in Such a Long Journey
JosephConrad’s novel of intrigue and evasion,
The Secret Agent. Both novels explore the theme of loyalty, and
the respective protagonists keep secrets even from those nearest
to them. Secrecy and agency are themes in a more general sense
too, as characters are empowered or disempowered to varying
degrees according to the amount of knowledge they possess.
And, crucially, both texts are concerned with the way language
can be used to obscure and disinform as much as to enlighten.9
9/6/04, 4:14 pm
Indeed, Such a Long Journey
Oscar Wilde, as well as, modified and
extended, in those by JosephConrad and Ford Madox Ford.33
Cultural critics and historians display a sense of the time that is
similar to that of these modernists and their literary critics. ‘Modern
forms of life’, writes Anthony Elliot, echoing Nordau 100 years later,
‘are increasingly marked by kaleidoscopic variety’. He goes on to say
that cultural experience becomes ‘permeated by fragmentation’ as a
result.34 Jay Winter charts the ‘cataclysmic record of European history
in this [twentieth] century’ and its ‘bloody
of different, legitimate knowledge-systems,
social structures and aesthetic codes.3 For Parry, writers who are on the
receiving end of imperial privilege are fully capable of interrogating what
she nicely terms their ‘ethnic solipsism’, and they can also go beyond the
limits of this internal critique to imagine alternative lifeworlds.4
In the case of metropolitan writers who, like JosephConrad, ultimately fail to produce a vision beyond imperialism, Parry none the less
You can get there from here
anarchists linger on the fringes of such movements as throwbacks to some nineteenth-century clandestine terrorist organisation, much as they have been painted
in early twentieth-century literature such as JosephConrad’s The secret agent
(1978 ). Indeed, as Apter has noted, anarchism ‘is associated with unreason
and bombs, violence and irresponsibility’ (Apter and Joll, 1971: 1). It is futile to
deny that violence often accompanies direct action as a mode of protest, but
whether violence is any more acceptable remains a moot point. Here social