Abstract

This essay examines two sets of pre-Holocaust fantasies, thriving in Edwardian England, that manifested as either vehement anti-Semitism or generalized misanthropy. Although cultural historians can point to reasons for both sets of fantasies, including the 1905 Aliens Act and the xenophobia accompanying the 1911 Sidney Street Siege, a riot in East London, my essay turns instead to fiction such as Saki's short story "The Unrest-Cure," Lawrence's Sons and Lovers and Women in Love, and Lewis's Apes of God, because they invoke a different kind of causality that ties prejudice and misanthropy to impersonal hatred. Arguing that this radical misanthropy helped transform early twentieth-century conceptions of personhood, "The Unrest Cure" assesses whether the resulting agitation guides readers toward new models of sociability or, more austerely, humanity's extinction.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6601
Print ISSN
1071-6068
Pages
pp. 769-796
Launched on MUSE
2005-01-05
Open Access
No
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