The beginnings of literary modernism brought a radically new attitude to the narrated self. Drawing on Bourdieu’s theory of the literary field, the study traces this change to an epistemic shift from hierarchical to relational patterns of identity-formation – a shift that writers were among the fi rst to confront. It shows how the modernist avant-garde responded to these developments by developing an objective, analytic perspective on their fictional selves, in effect turning their fi ction into laboratories for social action in a relational world. Through detailed readings in the works of Henry James, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemingway, it traces the emergence of a new set of narrative techniques that was at the same time a new epistemological category: the self as object in modernist fi ction. Der Autor Timo Müller unterrichtet amerikanische Literaturwissenschaft an der Universität Augsburg. Neben der vorliegenden Arbeit hat er Aufsätze zu Poe, Faulkner, und literarischer Ökologie veröffentlicht.