Title Disastrous Subjectivities
Subtitle Romanticism, Modernity, and the Real
Author David Collings
ISBN 9781487506148
List price USD 80.00
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Hardbound
No of pages 248
Book size 165 x 235 mm
Publishing year 2019
Original publisher University of Toronto Press
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
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Review of the Book:

Disastrous Subjectivities is concerned with the impasses of modernity in an era of climate change, where climate is part of a general economy including political, social and historical environments that confront Romanticism with the disaster of the Real. At the core of the book is the ethical demand made by this disaster, both in the specifically Lacanian sense indicated by the emphasis on the Real, and in a broader sense of ethics for which Kant serves as a ‘sign of history.’”

Tilottama Rajan, Department of English, Western University


In sharply original readings of Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, and Percy Bysshe Shelley, Disastrous Subjectivities explores modernity’s failed promise to bring about a just social order.

Drawing on Kantian critical philosophy and Lacanian theory, this book traverses aspects of the history of science, the form of the novel, the limits of historicism, and the impasses of moral autonomy. What passes for modernity takes shape not as truly modern or secular, but as a mode perpetually haunted by a traumatic sublime. The demand to realize justice within history turns out to require more than history can make possible, and more than the subject can bear.




Chapter 1. Catastrophic Benevolence, Ruinous Immortality: Wollstonecraft’s Shipwreck

Chapter 2. Prohibiting the Impossible: Godwin and the Formation of the Real

Chapter 3. After the Covenant: Undead Subjectivity in Wordsworth’s Alpine Sublime

Chapter 4. Trusting to the Billows: Byron’s Poetics of the Real

Chapter 5. Tarrying with Disaster: Ethical Destitution in Shelley’s “The Triumph of Life”

Coda. Melting the Sublime: Disastrous Objectivity in the Era of Climate Change




About the Author:

David Collings is a professor in the Department of English at Bowdoin College.

Target Audience:

Useful for people interested in english literature.


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