Glad Animals: Speed, Affect, and Modern Literature

  • Katherine G. Sutherland
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism book series (PSATLC)


This chapter considers representations of speed in modern literature, or literature of the machine age, arguing that an affective craving for speed permeates thinking, feeling, expression, and subjectivity in modern and postmodern literature. Working forward from Thomas De Quincey to David Foster Wallace, including analyses of F.T. Marinetti, Evelyn Waugh, and Virginia Woolf, Sutherland argues that affect theory cannot be separated from motion and speed and further that narratives of speed open up texts to new critical possibilities. Drawing on Deleuze, Virilio, Massumi, Braidotti, Bennett, and others, Sutherland makes a case for ethical acceleration, wherein accelerated affective experience might be suspended momentarily for critical reflection on future subjectivities, provisionally matching critical understanding to the velocity of (post)modern, affective, embodied experiences.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine G. Sutherland
    • 1
  1. 1.Thompson Rivers UniversityKamloopsCanada

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