By G. Gilbert

Earlier than Modernism was once areas modernist writing in the texture of recent historical past. Texts via Woolf, James, Freud, Wyndham Lewis, Stein, Malinowski, and others are learn via quite a number figures that build and disrupt smooth that means: the ghost that is affecting the price of your house; the sulky, graceless adolescent; the Pole who will not be Polish; the frightened proprietor of the puppy; the addict and her smoke. Eccentric to its associations, those figures are significant to the constituency of modernism.

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Dostoevsky goes wrong when he goes too fast. She notes: [H]ow often in guessing the psychology of souls flying at full speed even his intuition is at fault, and how in increasing the swiftness of Introduction 19 his thought, as he always tends to do, his passion rises into violence, his scenes verge upon melodrama, and his characters are seized with the inevitable madness and epilepsyY There is a strange folding together of the author and the text here, as if, in Bakhtin's terms, speed collapses the dialogic registering of objective social conditions into an unsustainable monologue, which internalises social contradictions as an intermittent body.

The escape from the Edwardian novel of property places its own 'enormous stress upon the fabric of things'. What Woolf imagines as being programmatically and metaphorically done to properties from outside - the crashing, the stress on the fabric, the breaking of windows - is already ramifying within individual houses, in the physical, civic and economic structures of dwelling. One estate agent's journal notes that 'Twelve small houses in Stepney have been unoccupied for some time past, and on a recent visit to the neighbourhood the owner was unable to find the houses.

Nur der Wind, den solches Blatt im Wenden wurfe, reichte hin, die Luft, wie eine Scholle, umzuschaufeln: ein neues Atemfelde. Rainer Maria Rilke2 The introduction has suggested that the modernism which my book will be tracking is an oddly substanced figure, a material irruption that rises affectively up within regularities of discourse and institution, glimpsed sweatily but unsurely by the reader. This first chapter will look to the most literal rendering of that notion of the revenant - the figure of the ghost.

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