’To Inhabit in Tranquility’: Landscape, Vision and Empathy in Ford Madox Ford’s No Enemy

by Laura Colombino

In Ford Madox Ford’s No Enemy, the mortal threat posed by the war affects
the forms and even the possibility of empathy. After showing how he participates
in contemporary discourses on Einfühlung, I investigate his musings on
the distortions of his sympathetic imagination and his grief for mutilated territories.
The aim is to show how rare surreal visions of landscapes untouched
by the war offer him the possibility of reconnecting himself with the deepest
thoughts, fears and longings of his fellow beings. Recent psychological research
on different levels of empathy and its impairment under stress provide
the conceptual framework of my analysis.