Charts the vicissitudes of a distinctly modern and peculiarly human vulnerability—our intimate dependence on the fragile, time-bound cultural framework that we inhabit—in the history of the realist novel.
The Blossom Which We Are traces the emergence of a distinctly modern form of human vulnerability—our intimate dependence on the fragile and time-bound cultural frameworks that we inhabit—as it manifests in the realm of the novel. Nir Evron juxtaposes seminal works from diverse national literatures to demonstrate that the trope of cultural extinction offers key insights into the emotional and ideological work performed by the realist novel. With an analysis that ranges from the works of Maria Edgeworth and Walter Scott, Edith Wharton's Age of Innocence and Joseph Roth's Radetzky March and Yaakov Shabtai's Past Continuous, and finally to the current state of the humanities, this book seeks to recover literary criticism's humanistic mission, bringing the best that has been thought and said to bear on urgent contemporary concerns.
Nir Evron is Assistant Professor of English and American Studies at Tel Aviv University, Israel.
"The book is convincingly grounded in cultural and literary theory. In the ambitious final chapter Evron uses literary criticism to consider the current threat of extinction to the culture of academic humanities and, metaphorically, to Western culture writ large." — CHOICE
"This book is gorgeously written. What might appear on its face as the yoking together of three culturally remote and only tangentially related texts turns out to function as a genealogy of and meditation upon the emergence of the experience of the culturally tangential." — Irene Tucker, author of The Moment of Racial Sight: A History