In the early twentieth century the Modernist novel tested literary conventions and expectations, challenging representations of reality, consciousness and identity. These novels were not simply creative masterpieces, however, but also crucial articulations of revolutionary developments in critical thought.
Tracing the developing modernist aesthetic in the thought and writings of James Joyce, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf, Deborah Parsons considers the cultural, social and personal influences upon the three writers. Exploring the connections between their theories, Parsons pays particular attention to their work on:
forms of realism
characters and consciousness
gender and the novel
time and history.
An understanding of these three thinkers is fundamental to a grasp on modernism, making this an indispensable guide for students of modernist thought. It is also essential reading for those who wish to understand debates about the genre of the novel or the nature of literary expression, which were given a new impetus by the pioneering figures of Joyce, Richardson and Woolf.