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Modernist Life HistoriesBiological Theory and The Experimental Bildungsroman$
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Daniel Aureliano Newman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474439619

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439619.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Conclusion

Conclusion

Chapter:
(p.188) Conclusion
Source:
Modernist Life Histories
Author(s):

Daniel Aureliano Newman

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474439619.003.0008

The brief conclusion charts some of the ways in which fiction continues to engage with contemporary biology after 1960—as Simon Mawer’s Mendel’s Dwarf and Ali Smith’s How to be both do with molecular genetics, Zadie Smith’s White Teeth and Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go with cloning, and Anthony Burgess’s The Wanting Seed and Ian McEwan’s Nutshell with evolutionary genetics. Linking modernist to contemporary Bildungsromane, I propose that using biological models to dissociate development from chronology is not only a narratological practice but also an ethical and political one. Investigating how biology participated in the modernist search for an expanded understanding of development, Modernist Life Histories positions itself within a multidisciplinary attempt to negotiate the condition of “alternative” or “multiple modernities.”

Keywords:   Contemporary fiction, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Thought experiments

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