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Unseasonable Youth – Modernism, Colonialism, and the Fiction of Development - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Unseasonable Youth: Modernism, Colonialism, and the Fiction of Development

Jed Esty


Unseasonable Youth examines a range of modernist-era fictions that cast doubt on the ideology of progress through the figure of stunted or endless adolescence. Novels of youth by Oscar Wilde, Olive Schreiner, Rudyard Kipling, Joseph Conrad, H.G. Wells, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys, and Elizabeth Bowen disrupt the inherited conventions of the bildungsroman in order to criticize bourgeois values and to reinvent the biographical plot, but also to explore the contradictions inherent in mainstream developmental discourses of self, nation, and empire. The intertwined tropes ... More

Keywords: modernism, modernity, colonialism, nationalism, novel, bildungsroman, development, progress, allegory, adolescence

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199857968
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857968.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jed Esty, author
University of Pennsylvania