Thomas Mann and the Travesty of Innocence in the Major Fiction (Hardcover)

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"Thomas Mann and the Travesty of Innocence in the Major Fiction" proposes a new understanding of Mann as a representative modernist author by showing how he ironically disassociates the performances of his narrator from the role of author on the model of ancient Gnosticism. The implied author functions, in this revisionary perspective, as the unknown alien god while the narrator functions as his prophetic emissary who takes away guilt for fleshly immersion in the material world, but not via repentance or knowledge per se but by pronouncing a final judgment of pure innocence on all the intimate knowledge of the evil of this world that the readers uncover, the texts dramatize, and the narrator ostensibly condemns. Unlike the traditional conception of the modernist narrator as being, in James Joyce's famous formulation, "the god of creation standing behind, above, or beyond his creation paring his fingernails," this original conception argues for an interpassive narrator, making use of Slavoj Zizek's and Robert Pfaller's theory, as a delegated representative of the reader's and the author's enjoyment. Both an original understanding of Mann and of modernist narrator, this book revises the vision of modernism as ironic critique, making it more a case of secular redemption.

About the Author

Daniel T. O'Hara is emeritus professor of English and humanities at Temple University, USA.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781785273599
ISBN-10: 1785273590
Publisher: Anthem Press
Publication Date: September 1st, 2020
Pages: 250
Language: English
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