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Critique: Impressively written, exceptionally well organized and presented, "Ghostly Figures: Memory and Belatedness in Postwar American Poetry" is a seminal work of outstanding scholarship and very highly recommended for inclusion in the Literary Criticism reference collections of academic libraries.
Whereas the Irish Revival instanced a kind of reverse vanguardism, its leader did not so much suffer as embrace a doubly reinforced belatedness in their name.
However, the argument that pits these approaches against the possibilities offered by Denis Williams is not fully realized and the earlier thread of belatedness, anachronism and the provincial is lost.
Thomas Elsaesser acknowledges the dual nature of the postclassical and belatedness with "Specularity and Engulfment: Francis Ford Coppola and Bram Stoker's Dracula [1992]." He sees Dracula as a "supremely self-reflexive piece of filmmaking, fully aware that it stands at the crossroads of major changes in the art and industry of Hollywood: looking back as well as looking forward, while staking out a ground all its own" (191).
Here, the text's anxieties about Italy's belatedness are reconfigured as Italy's overcoming of it serves precisely an indication of its overwhelming dedication to the progress of imperial modernity.
On the other hand, post-colonial elites often are trapped in reproducing Orientalism, even as they try to escape it (Fanon 1952), that tragically forms their sense of belatedness in modernity--treating local culture as barbarian and backward and treating modern (Western) law as progressive.
In terms of the discussion of the aesthetic and epistemological relations between various traumata which forms the centre of the argument here, there are two aspects worth special consideration; one concerns the temporality of trauma and centres on a more many-sided model of traumatic latency than pure Freudian belatedness, while the second involves an approach to traumatic memory that combines multidirectionality on the cultural-aesthetic level, and a multimodality of memory in the individual's case.
The reception of British surrealism has more often than not been coloured by a sense of its belatedness. 'Artistically, we are incurably unpunctual,' wrote Evelyn Waugh, and although he wrote it pseudonymously, as part of a surrealist hoax on the credulous London art press, it might serve as a fair summary of the prevailing view.
Because of this belatedness and because the war was fought at a great distance from the American home front, James claims that scholars have 'almost universally' tended to understate the impact of the war on American cultural identity and literary modernism (p.
Linking the reticence in the novel to belatedness and tracing the figures of zeugma or "double governance" in language, Ohi concludes that The Golden Bowl presents a queer plot in which "the lag in consciousness registered by the characters might thus be read as an after-effect of [the] principle of novelistic antiformalization" (43).
He examines the Romantic totality (Blake's materialities, Shelley's bodies, de Quincey's identifications), modernist alterity (Eliot's intensities, Woolf, Djuna Barnes), and postmodern tenporality (Pynchon's entropy, DM Thomas, and Toni Morrison's belatedness).
First is the fact of belatedness: any one of us is born into a world built and rebuilt long before our appearance--and, because of its durability and relative permanence, the world as we know it will survive our eventual departure.