"After all, anybody is as their land and air is . . .": The Ground of the Modern English Novel

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Speaker: Professor Vincent Pecora (Gordon B Hinckley Presidential Endowed Chair in British Studies, University of Utah, Department of English)

“ ‘After all, anybody is as their land and air is . . .’: The Ground of the Modern English Novel”

Modern culture is conventionally defined as increasingly secular. It is also conventionally described as increasingly cosmopolitan and deracinated. But there is a strong contrary argument: that despite all the social and technological transformations of the last 150 years, powerful attachments to native ground and promised land persisted, often with surprisingly renewed and religiously infused force. Culture after the Franco-Prussian war of 1871 counter-intuitively reinvents the human need to be rooted in the soil of regions, nations, and civilizations. The English novel after George Eliot turns increasingly to what has been called questions of agro-romantic values. This talk looks specifically at such values in Thomas Hardy (Tess of the d’Urbervilles); Joseph Conrad (Lord Jim); D. H. Lawrence (The Rainbow and The Plumed Serpent); and E. M. Forster (Howards End and A Passage to India).

Sandwiches will be provided.

All very welcome.

 

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