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A bold, sweeping reassessment of modernism, Seelow challenges standard versions of postmodernism, instead offering his notion of radical modernism. Presenting a provocative thesis through stimulating reconsiderations of three related but different radical moderns: Sigmund Freud, Wilhelm Reich, and D.H. Lawrence. Defining sexuality as modernism's core feature, Seelow situates Freud, Reich and Lawrence as frontier thinkers. Starting with a history of sexuality as both phenomenon and field of study Seelow then discloses Freud's theory of sexuality's masochistic underpinnings. Reich's materialist thought, which radicalizes Freud's libido theory while fashioning an emancipatory sense of self, is also offered. Radical theories also illuminate Lady Chatterley's Lover, and many of Lawrence's great short works. Finally, Seelow, following Julia Kristeva's recent work, stresses the value of revolt in preserving the life of the mind in a morally devalued world.
DAVID SEELOW is Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Language, Literature, and Communication at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York, USA.