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Haptic Modernism: Touch and the Tactile in Modernist Writing (Hardback)
  • Haptic Modernism: Touch and the Tactile in Modernist Writing (Hardback)
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Haptic Modernism: Touch and the Tactile in Modernist Writing (Hardback)

(author)
£70.00
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 17/05/2013
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This book contends that the haptic sense - combining touch, kinaesthesis and proprioception - was first fully conceptualised and explored in the modernist period, in response to radical new bodily experiences brought about by scientific, technological and psychological change. How does the body's sense of its own movement shift when confronted with modernist film? How might travel by motorcar disorientate one sufficiently to bring about an existential crisis? If the body is made of divisible atoms, what work can it do to slow the fleeting moment of modernist life? The answers to all these questions and many more can be found in the work of four major writers of the modernist canon - James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, D. H. Lawrence and Dorothy Richardson. They suggest that haptic experience is at the heart of existence in the early twentieth century, and each displays a fascination with the elusive sense of touch. Yet these writers go further, undertaking formal experiments which enable their own writing to provoke a haptic response in their readers. By defining the haptic, and by looking at its role in the work of these major names of modernist writing, this book opens up the field of literary studies to the promise of a haptic-oriented analysis, identifying a rich seam of literary work we can call 'haptic modernism'. Key Features * Offers a coherent history of ideas of the haptic, tracing their impact on literary innovation. * Analyses the transformations of haptic experience in the modernist period, and its roots in developments in mechanised transport, the cinema, contemporary science and the rapidly modernising city. * Provides in-depth studies of the work of Joyce, Woolf, Lawrence and Richardson from a new, haptic-oriented perspective, shedding new light on familiar figures of the modernist avant-garde. * Puts literary experiments with the haptic in the context of work on touch in other fields including film theory, sociology, computer science, physiology and human geography, exploring our great contemporary interest in the concept of hapticity.

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
ISBN: 9780748641741
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 470 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

This is a beautifully controlled study of literary hands as they write, point, stroke, trace, and tease. At the same time it is an expansive, audacious and supremely well-handled study of what it means to touch and be touched, to feel and be felt. Haptic Modernism establishes Abbie Garrington as one of the most compelling voices in the rapidly-evolving critical conversation about literature and 'the business of the bodily'.
In a series of revelatory close readings, Garrington parses gestural sign languages in the work of Aldous Huxley, Rebecca West, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Dorothy Richardson and D.H. Lawrence. Familiar texts take on startlingly unfamiliar shapes when we keep in mind Woolf's hand held out to the palm-reader and Lawrence's extraordinary affirmation that his hand 'flickers with a life of its own'. --Dr Alexandra Harris, University of Liverpool


Touch is the most neglected sense in literary studies. In this remarkable book, Abbie Garrington makes good that neglect and opens up a whole new field of research. Haptic Modernism offers original interpretations of Joyce, Woolf, Richardson, and Lawrence and introduces us to a radical understanding of bodily responses to the technologies of modernity. --Professor Scott McCracken, Keele University


Haptic Modernism is a compelling and adroitly written first monograph. -- Oliver Neto, University of Bristol, HARTS & Minds: The Journal of Humanities and Arts, Vol.2, No.3


Haptic Modernism is fundamentally generative, opening up new domains of scholarship on the topic of modernism and the history of the senses. -- Jesse Schotter, James Joyce Quarterly, Volume 51, Number 1


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