It has been said that without George Eliot’s last novel, Daniel Deronda (1876), “the state of Israel might not exist.” In the novel itself, at any rate, the state of Israel only appears as a hazy hypothesis entertained by its narratorial consciousness from within the confines of an implicit European regionalism predicated on English common sense. In Eliot’s final fiction, Impressions of Theophrastus Such (1879), the sinister anxieties affecting that common sense in the face of a lurid fantasy of judaeo-techno-capitalist “alienism” of its own making bleed back, generating complications of voice and vision, challenging Eliot’s authorship and authority, and straining her text into rhetorical reaction formations indicative of a new crisis in the imagination of human community that all her writing had worked to refine.


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pp. 17-39
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