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The Feeling of Being

Sensibility in Postwar American Fiction

Series:

Walter Shear

The confusions and anxieties of the early Cold War created a propitious cultural climate for the flowering of the sensibility narrative. Skepticism about pre-World War II ideologies and about social demands encouraged an intensely personal fiction, one which in its privileging individual experience was configured as the self making its way in the world. Reflecting America's growing prosperity, characters move from a psychology of scarcity to a psychology of abundance with wrenching disorientation. Their journey through the world is made exotically colorful with humorous self-awareness and irony.