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Heralds of the Postmodern

Madness and Fiction in Conrad, Woolf, and Lessing

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Yuan-Jung Cheng

Heralds of the Postmodern inquires into the possibility of a poetics of madness in Heart of Darkness, Mrs. Dalloway, and The Golden Notebook. By relating the literary expression of the irrational in these works to the philosophical attempt to overcome the subject and rationality in the writings of Nietzsche, Foucault, and Derrida, the book presents modern fiction as an arena in which struggles between reason and madness, limitation and transgression, «self» and «the other» are fully displayed. It investigates how modern literature subverts traditional metaphysics by exploring the realm of the other reason and the new forms of subjectivity.