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By Amy J. Elias

Has twentieth-century political violence destroyed religion in old wisdom? What occurs to ancient fiction while historical past is obvious as both a kind of Western imperialism or a sort of postmodern simulation?

In Sublime Desire, Amy Elias examines our altering courting to background and the way fiction on account that 1960 displays that adjust. She contends that postmodernism is a post-traumatic mind's eye that's pulled among wishes: the political wish to recognize the actual violence of twentieth-century background, and the craving for an get away from that background right into a ravishing realm of historic walk in the park. Torn among those wants, either historic fiction and historiography after 1960 redefine historical past because the "sublime," a territory past lived adventure that's either unknowable and seductive. within the face of a failure of Enlightenment beliefs approximately wisdom and the West's personal heritage of violence, post-World warfare II heritage turns into a hope for the "secular sacred" sublime—for awe, walk in the park, and belief.

Sublime Desire is an eloquent melding of thought and perform. blending the canonical with the unforeseen, Elias analyzes advancements within the old romance style from Walter Scott's novels to novels written this day. She correlates advancements within the ancient romance to related adjustments in historiography and philosophy. Sublime Desire attracts engagingly on greater than thirty suitable texts, from Tolstoy's War and Peace to Jeanette Winterson's Sexing the Cherry, Charles Johnson's Dreamer, and Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain. however the ebook additionally examines theories of postmodern area and time and defines the adaptation among postmodern and postcolonial old views. the ultimate bankruptcy attracts from trauma idea in Holocaust experiences to outline how fiction can pose a moral substitute to aestheticized historical past whereas last open to pluralism and democratic values. In its diversity and class, Sublime Desire is a helpful addition to postmodernist reports in addition to to reports of the ancient romance novel.

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