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Utopian Generations:
The Political Horizon of Twentieth-Century Literature
Nicholas Brown

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"Masterfully shuttling back and forth between Europe and Africa, Nicholas Brown gives us an exciting new perspective on modernism that is as philosophically astute as it is politically engaged."--Michael Hardt, Duke University, coauthor of Empire and Multitude

"An enormously significant contribution to the fields of modernist and postcolonial literary and cultural studies. Nicholas Brown aims to 're-constellate' modernism and African literature within a single framework, and he does so with great success. Along the way, however, the book accomplishes a great deal more than this. For example, it provides a new, critical-theoretical account of modernism itself. Superbly well-organized and wonderfully well-written, the book is replete with sentences that resonate with the reader long after closing its pages."--Neil Larsen, University of California, Davis, author of Modernism and Hegemony

"A complex, sensitive, and sophisticated investigation of the utopian aspects of both Western modernist literature and postcolonial African literature. Because modernist literature has become the standard of aesthetic achievement in Western literature, this is an audacious project. Brown not only gives equal weight to the two sets of works he is reading, but he reads each set on its own terms. As a result, he has produced an extremely useful and thought-provoking work of criticism that provides important new insights into both modernism and African literature."--M. Keith Booker, University of Arkansas, author of "Ulysses," Capitalism, and Colonialism

"In Utopian Generations, Nicholas Brown's grasp of marxian analysis is subtle and his general argument about the literary configurations of the idea of Utopia and the sublime on the works of the modernist and African writers he examines is both riveting and insightful. However, the book's greatest strength lies in its detailed and multilayered analyses of the authors and the texts themselves. Every chapter contains moments of real brilliance, which derive directly from the analyses. In fact, the writing inadvertently illustrates a species of immanent criticism in the best Adornian sense, and in a way that proves really illuminating as a method of comparative scholarship."--Ato Quayson, University of Cambridge, author of Calibrations: Reading for the Social

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File created: 4/17/2014

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