By Deaglán Ó Donghaile
Dynamite novels meet intellectual modernism through the effect of terrorism. among 1880 and 1915, a number writers exploited terrorism's political shocks for his or her personal creative ends. Drawing on late-Victorian 'dynamite novels' via authors together with Robert Louis Stevenson, Tom Greer and Robert Thynne, radical journals and papers, similar to The Irish humans, The Torch, Anarchy and Freiheit, and modernist writing from H.G. Wells and Joseph Conrad to the compulsively militant modernism of Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists, Ó Donghaile maps the political and aesthetic connections that bind the shilling shocker heavily to modernism
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Additional info for Blasted literature : Victorian political fiction and the shock of modernism
See Tzvetvan Todorov, ‘The Typology of Detective Fiction’, The Poetics of Prose, translated from the La Poétique de la Prose by Richard Howard (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1977), pp. 42–52. This genealogy is charted in my essay ‘Conrad, The Stevensons and the Imagination of Urban Chaos’, in Stephen Arata, Laurence Davies and Linda Dryden (eds), Conrad and Stevenson: Writers of Land and Sea (Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 2009). Daly’s critique of this cultural phenomenon and its critical history is found in the Introduction to his Modernism, Romance and the Fin de Siècle: Popular Fiction and British Culture, 1880–1914 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999).
As Walter Benjamin pointed out in Charles Baudelaire: A Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, the flâneur is, essentially, a cipher, or ‘unknown man’ of the city. indd 23 06/01/2011 09:55 Blasted Literature 24 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. Lyric Poet in the Era of High Capitalism, trans. Harry Zohn (London: Verso, 1997), p. 48. Denning, Cover Stories, p. 24. See Tzvetvan Todorov, ‘The Typology of Detective Fiction’, The Poetics of Prose, translated from the La Poétique de la Prose by Richard Howard (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1977), pp.
The responses of writers to September 11th differ from those of their nineteenth-century counterparts, as novels like Ian McEwan’s Saturday, John Updike’s Terrorist, Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children and Don De Lillo’s Falling Man can hardly be considered as penny dreadfuls. indd 21 06/01/2011 09:55 Blasted Literature 22 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. the United States, Fenianism was associated with more ‘lowbrow’ writing from the outset.