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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