Human rights and European identity since World War II
In his book The Failure of the Word: the Protagonist as Lawyer in Modern Fiction, Richard Weisberg deals with eight well-known works of modern fiction in which the protagonists "prefer the safety of wordiness to the risks of spontaneous human interaction". Suffering from what Weisberg calls an "overheated verbal imagination", these protagonists "no longer respond simply and directly to real or imagined acts of injustice. Because of their nagging sense of futility, they make guiltless others the butt of their sometimes cool but nonetheless fatal eloquence" (Weisberg 1984, xi, 8). These protagonists are lawyers because the writers who created them recognized that heroism and religious faith were dying out, and that legalism was taking their place in modern society. The writers in question are Dostoevski, Flaubert, Melville and Camus, so we are dealing with the period between 1860 and the mid-1950s. As far as Weisberg is concerned, those protagonists created by Dostoevski et al. exhibit all the characteristics of modern Western culture's deepest problems or sicknesses
Porsdam, H. (2011)., Human rights and European identity since World War II, in M. Spiering & M. Wintle (eds.), European identity and the second world war, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 21-36.
This document is unfortunately not available for download at the moment.