Romancing Fascism argues that intellectual responsibility can only be safeguarded if criticism is mobilised both as a poetic and as a critically enlightened endeavour. In this analysis of allegory as a function of modernity, what is made clear is the difficulty, if not impossibility, of definitively determining the genealogical antecedents of intellectual trends, particularly those considered pernicious to clear thinking.
Thus Kerr-Koch takes a wide-ranging approach to the analysis of allegory as it is treated by three controversial writers whose works flank the 19th and 20th centuries, the middle and late periods of what we call modernity-Walter Benjamin, Paul de Man and Percy Bysshe Shelley. These three writers have been chosen because they have been at some point recuperated for a theory of `postmodernism', a term that for some theorists represents liberal free play, and for others represents a lack of rigour and a pernicious corruption of thought.
Kathleen Kerr-Koch is Senior Lecturer in Literary History and Literary Theory at the University of Sunderland, UK. She has published articles on Paul de Man, Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Julia Kristeva, Barbara Herrnstien-Smith, Noam Chomsky, Herbert Marcuse, Christopher Norris, A.J. Greimas, Hans R. Jauss and Barbara Ehrenreich as well as essays on modernity, autobiography and race, nation and ethnicity. She has also been a Visiting Lecturer at Delhi University, India.
Acknowledgements List of Figures Preface Chapter 1: Introduction - Critical Limits and Allegorical Contagion Chapter 2: From Vitalism to the Traumatised Angel of History: Walter Benjamin Chapter 3: From Inwardness to Allegories of Reference: Paul de Man Chapter 4: How to do Things with Allegory: Percy Bysshe Shelley Chapter 5: Conclusions: Criticism as Enlightened Deconstruction Endnotes Bibliography Index