Contemporary fiction and the uses of theory : the novel from by Michael Greaney; Palgrave Connect (Online service)

By Michael Greaney; Palgrave Connect (Online service)

Modern Fiction and the makes use of of concept is a learn of the reception and illustration of severe idea in literary fiction because the Nineteen Sixties. regardless of its acceptance because the bete noire of artistic writers, severe idea has develop into an important innovative source for authors of latest fiction, who've pitched vigorously into debates round the dying of the writer, the dying of humanism, the increase of feminism, the emergence of 'hyperreality'. This topical research examines the bold 'novelizations' of radical literary idea within the paintings of AS Byatt, Angela Carter, Mark Z. Danielewksi, Umberto Eco, John Fowles, David inn, Richard Powers, etc. It deals a accomplished research of the 'post-theoretical' novel, and strains an alternate heritage of the 'theory wars' within the pages of modern literary fiction. learn more... advent: Fiction in(to) thought -- The Structuralist Novel -- From Structuralism to Dialogics -- The tradition Wars and past -- The Vanishing writer -- Foucauldian Fictions -- Feminism as opposed to Poststructuralism -- legal indicators: homicide in concept -- the radical in Hyperreality -- end: Fiction After idea

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Like many campus novels, Small World is notably short on non-academic characters, beyond the odd taxi driver or exotic dancer; and it is exceptionally short on non-academic readers. In this 32 Contemporary Fiction and Uses of Theory context the subtitle of Philip Swallow’s book on Hazlitt sheds valuable light on the novel’s problematic limitations. Greeted by the novel’s theorists as a laughably unfashionable piece of anti-theoretical polemic, Hazlitt and the Amateur Reader is Swallow’s elegy for the fate of the nonspecialist reader who has been disenfranchised from literary debate by the hyper-specialized language of theory.

But it is only when Robyn leaves England to jet off with Vic to a trade fair in Frankfurt that we are granted a vision of England as a unified cultural space rather than a collection of disconnected localities. This passage, which gestures towards a famous scene in Waugh’s Vile Bodies where two airborne socialites gaze nauseously down at English suburbia, provides an excellent illustration of what might be called From Structuralism to Dialogics 35 the ‘England-from-a-plane’ chronotope: Robyn looked out of the window as England slid slowly by beneath them: cities and towns, their street plans like printed circuits, scattered over a mosaic of tiny fields, connected by the thin wires of railways and motorways … Factories, shops, offices, schools, beginning the working day.

The ‘Back to Basics’ loyalists automatically assume that it’s a timeless canonical masterpiece under threat from resentful multiculturalists; whereas in the ranks of the ‘Forward into Instability Group’, it is variously supposed to be a working-class text, a gay text, a black text, a subaltern text or a woman’s text. Everyone is eager to champion the Text in the name of their cause, but with the exception of Jane Marple, the culture warriors are conspicuously reluctant to read it – though a number of them piously intone Paul de Man’s dictum that ‘the resistance to theory is in fact a resistance to reading’ (24, 115, 179).

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