Google full text of our books:


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

Paperback | 2005 | $47.95 | £39.95 | ISBN: 9780691122120
256 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4
Add to Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400826834 |
Our eBook editions are available from these online vendors

Endorsements | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon

Google full text of this book:

Utopian Generations develops a powerful interpretive matrix for understanding world literature--one that renders modernism and postcolonial African literature comprehensible in a single framework, within which neither will ever look the same. African literature has commonly been seen as representationally naïve vis-à-vis modernism, and canonical modernism as reactionary vis-à-vis postcolonial literature. What brings these two bodies of work together, argues Nicholas Brown, is their disposition toward Utopia or "the horizon of a radical reconfiguration of social relations.?

Grounded in a profound rethinking of the Hegelian Marxist tradition, this fluently written book takes as its point of departure the partial displacement during the twentieth century of capitalism's "internal limit" (classically conceived as the conflict between labor and capital) onto a geographic division of labor and wealth. Dispensing with whole genres of commonplace contemporary pieties, Brown examines works from both sides of this division to create a dialectical mapping of different modes of Utopian aesthetic practice. The theory of world literature developed in the introduction grounds the subtle and powerful readings at the heart of the book--focusing on works by James Joyce, Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Ford Madox Ford, Chinua Achebe, Wyndham Lewis, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and Pepetela. A final chapter, arguing that this literary dialectic has reached a point of exhaustion, suggests that a radically reconceived notion of musical practice may be required to discern the Utopian desire immanent in the products of contemporary culture.


"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

More Endorsements

Table of Contents:



CHAPTER TWO: Ulysses: The Modernist Sublime 37
CHAPTER THREE: Ambiguous Adventure: Authenticity's Aftermath 59


CHAPTER FOUR: The Good Soldier and Parade's End: Absolute Nostalgia 83
CHAPTER FIVE: Arrow of God: The Totalizing Gaze 104


CHAPTER SIX: The Childermass: Revolution and Reaction 127
CHAPTER SEVEN: Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Pepetela:Revolution and Retrenchment 150
CHAPTER EIGHT: Conclusion:Postmodernism as Semiperipheral Symptom 173



Subject Areas:

Shopping Cart options:

  • For ebooks:

Our eBook editions are available
from these online vendors:

  • Amazon Kindle Store
  • Apple iBooks
  • Barnes & Noble Nook Store
  • Google Play eBook Store
  • Kobo eBook Store
  • Many of our ebooks are available through
    library electronic resources including these platforms:

  • Books at JSTOR
  • Ebrary
  • Ebook Library
  • EBSCO Ebooks
  • MyiLibrary
  • Dawsonera (UK)

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

     Paperback : $47.95 ISBN: 9780691122120

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

     Paperback  £39.95 ISBN: 9780691122120

    Add to shopping cart
    View contents of your shopping cart

    Prices subject to change without notice

    File created: 7/11/2017

    Questions and comments to:
    Princeton University Press

    New Book E-mails
    New In Print
    PUP Blog
    Princeton APPS
    Sample Chapters
    Princeton Legacy Library
    Exam/Desk Copy
    Recent Awards
    Princeton Shorts
    Freshman Reading
    PUP Europe
    About Us
    Contact Us
    PUP Home

    Bookmark and Share 
    Send me emails
    about new books in:
    Postcolonial Studies
    Comparative Literature
    More Choices