Return of the century:

Time, modernity and the end of history in Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus

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Abstract

Set at the 'cusp of the modern age, the hinge of the nineteenth century', Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter's fin de siecle fantasy anticipates the new century as an era of radical transformation and change. However, it is also a text fascinated with modernist myths of origin: from the threshold of the twentieth century it returns to the 'prehistory' of the modern, as constructed by modernism, represened by such motifs as animals, folk and peasant culture, childhood, the wilderness of Siberia, and the colonial 'others' of empire. In The End of Modernity, Gianni Vattimo argues that modernity is 'dominated by the idea that the history of thought is a progressive "enlightenment" which develops through an ever more complete appropriation and reappropriation of it's own foundations.'
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-201
Number of pages15
JournalYearbook of English Studies
Volume30
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2000

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Night
Circus
Angela Carter
Modernity
End of History
History of Thought
Prehistory
Wilderness
Colonies
Motifs
Peasants
Cusp
Fin De Siècle
Animals
Appropriation
Enlightenment
Childhood
Reappropriation
Folk
Modern Age

Bibliographical note

Subject to restrictions, author can archive publisher's version/PDF.

Cite this

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abstract = "Set at the 'cusp of the modern age, the hinge of the nineteenth century', Nights at the Circus, Angela Carter's fin de siecle fantasy anticipates the new century as an era of radical transformation and change. However, it is also a text fascinated with modernist myths of origin: from the threshold of the twentieth century it returns to the 'prehistory' of the modern, as constructed by modernism, represened by such motifs as animals, folk and peasant culture, childhood, the wilderness of Siberia, and the colonial 'others' of empire. In The End of Modernity, Gianni Vattimo argues that modernity is 'dominated by the idea that the history of thought is a progressive {"}enlightenment{"} which develops through an ever more complete appropriation and reappropriation of it's own foundations.'",
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Return of the century: Time, modernity and the end of history in Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus. / Carroll, Rachel.

In: Yearbook of English Studies, Vol. 30, 01.2000, p. 187-201.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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