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Empathy and the Psychology of Literary Modernism$
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Meghan Marie Hammond

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748690985

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690985.001.0001

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Empathy and Violence in the Works of Ford Madox Ford

Empathy and Violence in the Works of Ford Madox Ford

Chapter:
(p.118) Chapter 4 Empathy and Violence in the Works of Ford Madox Ford
Source:
Empathy and the Psychology of Literary Modernism
Author(s):

Meghan Marie Hammond

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748690985.003.0005

Chapter Four, “Empathy and Violence in the Works of Ford Madox Ford,” uses the first work on aesthetic empathy in Britain, that of Vernon Lee and T. E. Hulme, to read Ford’s novels The Good Soldier (1915) and A Man Could Stand Up– (1926). This chapter suggests that Ford’s work contains a reconciliation of the seemingly incompatible theories of Lee and Hulme. A reading of The Good Soldier shows how Ford’s narrator exhibits an empathic drive to metaphorise other minds that fits with Lee’s ideas, but also makes use of linguistic patterns that Hulme would understand as abstract, and therefore anti-empathic, to cultivate fellow feeling. A complementary reading of A Man Could Stand Up– focuses on empathy’s role in the representation of war, arguing that empathic experience mediated through abstraction becomes the only way to meet Ford’s impressionistic goal of rendering the effects of modern warfare on the mind.

Keywords:   Ford Madox Ford, Vernon Lee, Hulme, Worringer, empathy, sympathy, abstraction, war, Great War

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