Midcentury Suspension: Literature and Feeling in the Wake of World War II

Claire Seiler (Author)

Product Details

Columbia University Press
Publish Date
August 11, 2020
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.8 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Claire Seiler is associate professor of English at Dickinson College.


It is impossible not to be impressed by the highly accomplished results on offer in Claire Seiler's reconfiguration of early postwar transatlantic literature in terms of the concept of the "midcentury" and the forms of temporal and theoretical suspension she identifies with it. I suspect that her revisionist efforts to construct the intellectual framework of the midcentury and its suspensions will significantly reshape our understanding of this period for years to come.--Deak Nabers, Brown University
This is a powerfully illuminating and eloquent reconstruction of a moment when transatlantic writers understood themselves as citizens not so much of particular places as of their own fraught and ambiguous historical period. Anyone thinking about early post-war literature will have to reckon with the implications of this absolutely compelling book.--Marina Mackay, University of Oxford
In Midcentury Suspension, Claire Seiler offers the most scholarly study of the midcentury to date--the literary midcentury in all its irresolution, time-consciousness, anxiety, and nuclear expectancy. With a pitch-perfect sense of detail, Seiler draws upon unknown archival sources to explain what history felt like to anglophone writers in Britain and the US. Written with great verve, this book is a lucid--and necessary--account of why the midcentury matters.--Allan Hepburn, author of A Grain of Faith: Religion in Mid-Century British Literature