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John Kucich (Co-Editor with Dianne F. Sadoff)
Victorian Afterlife: Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century
University of Minnesota Press, 2000
A foundational look at contemporary uses of the Victorian and the presence of the past in postmodern culture. Celebrated films by Francis Ford Coppola, Jane Campion, and Ang Lee; best-selling novels by A. S. Byatt and William Gibson; revivals of Oscar Wilde, Lewis Carroll's Alice, and nostalgic photography; computer graphics and cyberpunk performances: contemporary culture, high and low, has fallen in love with the nineteenth century. Major critical thinkers have also found in the period the origins of contemporary consumerism, sexual science, gay culture, and feminism. And postmodern theory, which once drove a wedge between contemporary interpretation and its historical objects, has lately displayed a new self-consciousness about its own appropriations of the past. This diverse collection of essays begins a long-overdue discussion of how postmodernism understands the Victorian as its historical predecessor.