Heidegger's Bicycle

Interfering with Victorian Texts

By Roger Ebbatson

In Roger Ebbatson's new book, Marx, Simmel, Benjamin and, above all, Heidegger are unleashed on a range of Victorian texts, and the results are alarming. Ebbatson begins with Tennyson, overshadowed by empire and homosocial tensions, and ends with Conan Doyle writing about a bicycle belonging to a character called Heidegger. In between, he makes bone-shaking progress over a Victorian terrain marked out by Thomas Hardy, Richard Jefferies, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and Robert Louis Stevenson. And along the way, Ebbatson considers shipwrecks, money, nature, the South Seas Mission, and 'final solutions'. Tennyson, we discover, was afraid of his own shadow, Hopkins's greatest poem was created by erratic compasses, Hardy wrote like Kafka, Stevenson was drawn to murderous missionaries, and Conan Doyle applauded the concentration camp. Ebbatson shows us that what the Germans bring to our understanding of the 19th century is a terrible awareness of the darkest moments of the 20th century.


172 pages

Publication Date: 10/1/2006
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781845191047

Available in other formats