Modernist Commitments: Ethics, Politics and Transnational Modernism, a recently published book by Jessica Berman, has a major chapter on Virginia Woolf. That chapter, the book’s first, is titled “Intimate and Global: Ethical Domains from Woolf to Rhys.”
In an email to the VWoolf Listserv, Berman said the material may be familiar to some Woolf scholars, as “it had its genesis in a number of Woolf conference presentations and other essays.” However, she adds that she was “able to incorporate it into a broader argument about the politics of transnational modernism.”
A blurb from Jed Esty, author of Unseasonable Youth: Modernism, Colonialism, and the Fiction of Development, describes the book this way: “Berman boldly redefines the question of global modernism by zeroing in on the shared ethical dimensions of disparate modernisms. A superb, sure-footed guide to the complex relation between narrative ethics and literary politics. Berman utterly and finally debunks the myths of modernist disengagement and aesthetic individualism.”
That last statement piques my interest, as Woolf and her colleagues are still often seen as apolitical artists and writers. You can visit the Main Book Page, the Contents Page, and read reviews or an excerpt.
The book is now being offered by Columbia University Press at a 30 percent discount. To get the discount, add the book to your shopping cart, and enter code MODBE. Click on the “apply” button and your savings will be calculated. (Paper, 384 pages, 13 illus. ISBN: 978-0-231-14951-8 $29.50; $20.65 with 30 percent discount / £20.50 in UK. e-book, $9.99)
Berman is associate professor and chair of English at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). She is the author of Modernist Fiction, Cosmopolitanism, and the Politics of Community and the coeditor, with Jane Goldman, of Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds. She is also the co-editor, with Paul Saint-Amour, of the series Modernist Latitudes.