"A Sense of Shock is, as its title suggests, a bold, inevitable book. Never before has literary impressionism been dissected with such precision and-even more dazzlingly-such imagination. The connections between this too-often slighted art and its historical circumstances (anarchism, terrorism, nationalism, feminism, homosexuality) are shown to end nowhere, making it impossible to conceive of impressionism merely as an aesthetic procedure. Adam Parkes is as robust, as myriad-minded, as his subject, and he has written a book not just for scholars, not just for writers, but for anyone interested in language as an ongoing force in our lives." --James Longenbach
"Parkes writes with a pleasingly crisp and authoritative style. A Sense of Shock makes a decisive intervention in this developing field of studies of literary impressionism, and an excellent contribution to the literary history of the period." --Max Saunders, King's College London
"Parkes' wide-ranging, revealing study of literary impressionism from Ruskin, Pater, and James through Elizabeth Bowen explores the place of history and politics within impressionism and of impressionism within history. His footnotes provide an encyclopedic education about the critical discourse on impressionism, and his illuminating chapters establish the revisionary perspective: that the inward turn, rather than denying the significance of history, regularly invites us to understand impressionism as historically embedded and engaged in a dialectic of public and private, context and text, non-literary and literary, political and aesthetic. A Sense of Shock sheds new light on a crucial strand of literary modernism." --John Paul Riquelme, Boston University
"Expansive, ambitious." --Woolf Studies Annual
"An incisive and engaging intervention into the study of literary impressionism...An illuminating monograph about the historicity of impressionism that should prove extrememly useful for literary - especially modernist - scholars." --Journal of British Studies
About the Author
Adam Parkes is Professor of English at the University of Georgia. He is the author of Modernism and the Theater of Censorship and Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day: A Reader's Guide.