Download e-book for kindle: Contemporary Fiction and the Uses of Theory: The Novel from by Michael Greaney (auth.)

By Michael Greaney (auth.)

ISBN-10: 023020807X

ISBN-13: 9780230208070

ISBN-10: 1349542741

ISBN-13: 9781349542741

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Additional info for Contemporary Fiction and the Uses of Theory: The Novel from Structuralism to Postmodernism

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10 Similarly, if we are looking for a text-book illustration of the relationship between carnival and authority, then we need look no further than Nice Work’s kiss-o-gram scene (251–3), where a lunch-time meeting between management and shopfloor slips into temporary anarchy when a scantily-clad young woman, egged on by the salacious chants of the Pringles workforce, approaches Vic singing a suggestive variation on ‘Jingle Bells’. But this scene of festive topsy-turvydom is over almost before it begins when Robyn recognizes the kiss-o-gram as one of her own undergraduate students, Marion Russell, whom she promptly recalls to her ‘official’ identity.

1980), Small World (1984), Nice Work (1988), were produced in systematic alternation with his works of theoretical criticism, The Modes of Modern Writing (1977), Working with Structuralism (1981), Modern Criticism and Theory: A Reader (1988), After Bakhtin (1990). Fiction and theory are, for Lodge, complementary, even symbiotic modes of writing that speak productively to one another in an ongoing two-way exchange. 1 24 From Structuralism to Dialogics 25 During the 1980s, Lodge would find in the writings of Mikhail Bakhtin powerful theoretical corroboration for the ‘dialogic’ principle that seems always to have governed his literary career.

Rather than simply adopting a style of ‘zero degree’ neutrality, the novel evokes Robyn’s character by dialogizing the narrator’s pleasantly unassuming commentary with her theoretical pieties. This ‘dialogue’ between the down-to-earth narrator and his highbrow heroine becomes particularly noticeable in the politely bemused account of Robyn’s austere anti-humanism: It might seem a bit bleak, a bit inhuman (‘antihumanist, yes; inhuman, no,’ she would interject), somewhat deterministic (‘not at all; the From Structuralism to Dialogics 37 truly determined subject is he who is not aware of the discursive formations that determine him.

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Contemporary Fiction and the Uses of Theory: The Novel from Structuralism to Postmodernism by Michael Greaney (auth.)


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