By Deaglán Ó Donghaile
Dynamite novels meet intellectual modernism through the effect of terrorism. among 1880 and 1915, a number writers exploited terrorism's political shocks for his or her personal inventive ends. Drawing on late-Victorian 'dynamite novels' by means of authors together with Robert Louis Stevenson, Tom Greer and Robert Thynne, radical journals and papers, comparable to The Irish humans, The Torch, Anarchy and Freiheit, and modernist writing from H.G. Wells and Joseph Conrad to the compulsively militant modernism of Wyndham Lewis and the Vorticists, Ó Donghaile maps the political and aesthetic connections that bind the shilling shocker heavily to modernism.
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Extra resources for Blasted Literature: Victorian Political Fiction and the Shock of Modernism (Edinburgh Critical Studies in Victorian Literature)
Occurring within an age of media saturation and pronounced subjective dislocation, and having been adapted to suit it, the practice of dynamiting represented a new departure in the history of political violence as it did not allow for a great deal of contemplation. Its lack of predictability – the very fact that it could not be anticipated – is what distinguishes this modern terrorism from earlier models of revolutionary violence. For Burke, terror had a psychic as well as a physical effect but the ‘unprecedented sensory complexity and intensity’ of the late nineteenth century, with its new media and technologies of communication, such as the penny evening paper, the telegraph and the cinema, meant that new competitors seeking the public’s attention would have to go to considerable lengths to get it.
180–200, p. 196. See ‘Dynamite Explosions: The Tower and the Palace of Westminster’, The Illustrated London News, 31 January 1885, p. 123. See Robert Louis Stevenson, ‘Confessions of a Unionist: An Unpublished “Talk on Things Current”’ (Cambridge, MA: privately printed, 1921), pp. 11–12, 14–16. 37. The Illustrated London News, 31 January 1885, p. 127. 38. Edgar Allan Poe, ‘The Man of the Crowd’, Tales of Mystery and Imagination (London: Dent, 2000), pp. 108, 112. 39. See Judith R. Walkowitz, City of Dreadful Delight: Narratives of Sexual Danger in Late-Victorian London (London: Virago, 1992), pp.
12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. the United States, Fenianism was associated with more ‘lowbrow’ writing from the outset. See Martin Amis, ‘The Second Plane’, The Second Plane (London: Jonathan Cape, 2008), p. 3. United Irishman, untitled cutting, dated 1882, Chief Secretary’s Office, Dublin, B 171, National Archive, Dublin. ‘England’s Fright’, The Irish World and American Industrial Liberator, 26 January 1884, p. 5. Paul Virilio, Ground Zero, trans. Chris Turner (London: Verso, 2002); originally published as Ce qui arrive (Paris: Éditions Galilée, 2002), p.