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War and the MindFord Madox Ford's Parade's End, Modernism, and Psychology$
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Ashley Chantler and Rob Hawkes

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748694266

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748694266.001.0001

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Fellow Feeling in Ford’s Last Post

Fellow Feeling in Ford’s Last Post

Modernist Empathy and the Eighteenth-Century Man

(p.63) Chapter 4 Fellow Feeling in Ford’s Last Post
War and the Mind

Meghan Marie Hammond

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines fellow feeling in Ford’s final Tietjens novel, Last Post (1928). In particular, the chapter tracks the ways in which eighteenth-century concepts of sympathy and twentieth-century concepts of empathy come up against each other in Ford’s text. After an historical overview of sympathy and empathy, the chapter suggests that while the first three novels of Ford’s tetralogy move us toward an exemplary experience of empathy with the series’ protagonist, Christopher Tietjens, Last Post steps back from modernist empathy and represents Tietjens by way of abstraction and eighteenth-century sympathy. By analyzing how sympathy and empathy mediate the traumatic effects of war on the mind in Last Post, this chapter argues that the often-neglected fourth part of Ford’s tetralogy is in fact central to the series’ coherence.

Keywords:   Fellow feeling, Empathy, Sympathy, Adam Smith, Vernon Lee

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