The Making of the Twentieth Century Novel

Lawrence, Joyce, Faulkner and Beyond

The Macmillan Press Ltd, Cloth 1987, Paper 1989

This is an original and controversial study of the English language twentieth century novel, that shows how vital modernist experiments in form have intensified the remarkable vision of social experience in the novels of Lawrence, Joyce and Faulkner, as well as those of Barnes, Hemingway, Lowry and Ellison. John Orr demonstrates through detailed textual criticism how all of them have responded to the same crisis of value in the West which preoccupied Freud and Heidegger. Their fictions at once confirm, yet also profoundly challenge, the legacy of these two great analytical thinkers through a unique genre, the epiphanous novel. Here the dominant structures of feeling in nineteenth century fiction, passion and compassion, are eclipsed by the more elusive structures of absence and desire.

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