Neuromodernism: Diagnosis and Disability in Will Self’s Umbrella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Will Self’s novel Umbrella (2012) contributes to a growing body of contemporary fiction that reactivates modernist narrative techniques in order to render the phenomenology of neurological disorders. In its return to the scenes of modernism, Umbrella casts doubt on successive psychiatric frameworks of diagnosis and treatment; these doubts correspond to similar dissatisfactions recently articulated within literary studies toward inherited critical methods. This article explores this recent turn in both fiction and interpretation away from strong theory and argues that the novel neither universalizes nor minoritizes but rather historicizes the lived worlds of neurological disability.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-294
Number of pages24
JournalMFS - Modern Fiction Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory


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