BOOK REVIEW EXCERPTS FROM THE CURRENT HARDY REVIEW


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Modernism, War, and Violence, by Marina MacKay. London: Bloomsbury, 2017. Pp. 184. ISBN-13: 978-1472590077.
Reviewed by Courtney Andre, independent scholar with a PhD from Washington University in St. Louis, in the forthcoming Hardy Review, XX, no.2.
Excerpt – “While the Great War is so frequently framed as the catalyst for literary modernism, Marina MacKay’s lucid and compelling Modernism, War, and Violence shows that other late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century conflicts and eruptions of terroristic violence are also vital parts of modernism’s story. This accessible new entry into Bloomsbury’s burgeoning New Modernisms series (co-edited by Sean Latham and Gayle Rogers) encompasses the period from the fin-de-siècle to the long-simmering Cold War, and adeptly synthesizes a vast body of critical and literary output. Almost encyclopedic in range and accompanied by detailed subject bibliographies, this volume, which consists of five chapters and a brief epilogue, should prove to be an invaluable launching point for scholars and students of modernism and war.”



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Still Life: Suspended Development in the Victorian Novel, by Elisha Cohn. New York City: Oxford University Press, 2016. Pp. 260. ISBN 978-0-19-025004-1.
Reviewed by Rebecca Boylan, lecturer at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., in the forthcoming Hardy Review, XX, no.2.
Excerpt – “Elisha Cohn, assistant professor of English at Cornell University, has written a most timely study of the nineteenth-century individual’s loss of attention as curious agency in humanity’s becoming. Her amazing treatise, Still Life: Suspended Development in the Victorian Novel, offers a Hegelian dialectic perspective of the influence of lyrical poetry – its writing and reading – on the Victorian psyche. Cohn convinces us of Victorian literary characters’ quixotic relation between their lulling dreams, mesmerizing reveries, arresting trances, and their pulsing awareness via both memory of the past and spasmodic shock in the present.”



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Thomas Hardy’s Short Stories: New Perspectives, edited by Juliette Berning Schaefer and Siobhan Craft Brownson. London and New York: Routledge, 2017. pp. 200+xiv. ISBN 978-1-4724-8003-3 (hardback).
Reviewed by Simon Avery, Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture at the University of Westminster, UK, in the forthcoming Hardy Review, XX, no.2
Excerpt – “Thomas Hardy’s Short Stories: New Perspectives, edited by Juliette Berning Schaefer and Siobhan Craft Brownson for the Routledge Nineteenth Century series, offers an intriguing set of critical responses to the stories a decade on from Gilmartin and Mengham’s study. Bringing together work from an international range of critics, Schaefer and Brownson have produced the first edited collection of commentaries on the stories and one which approaches Hardy’s texts from a variety of different angles and theoretical positions. Their introduction pertinently situates Hardy in the context of nineteenth-century theorizing about the short story – particularly the notion of unity promoted by Edgar Allan Poe and Brander Matthews – and, through consideration of late-Victorian critics such as Frederick Wedmore, they show how the dominant view at the time was that Hardy was a strong writer of fiction who nevertheless misunderstood the short story form. (3) The impressive range of essays in this collection effectively demonstrates just how limited a view this was.”