Read e-book online Postmodernist Fiction PDF

By Brian McHale

ISBN-10: 0415045134

ISBN-13: 9780415045131

Love it or now not, the time period `postmodernism' turns out to have lodged itself in our serious and theoretical discourses. now we have a postmodern structure, a postmodern dance, maybe even a postmodern philosophy and a postmodern situation. yet will we have a postmodernist fiction? during this trenchant and vigorous learn Brian McHale undertakes to build a model of postmodernist fiction which encompasses types as wide-ranging as North American metafiction, Latin American magic realism, the French New New Novel, concrete prose and technological know-how fiction. contemplating a number of theoretical methods together with these of Ingarden, Eco, Dolezel, Pavel, and Hrushovski, McHale indicates that the typical denominator is postmodernist fiction's skill to thrust its personal ontological prestige into the foreground and to elevate questions about the area (or worlds) within which we are living. faraway from being, as unsympathetic critics have occasionally complained, approximately not anything yet itself -- or perhaps approximately not anything in any respect -- postmodernist fiction in McHale's development of it proves to be approximately (among different issues) these hardy literary perennials, Love and demise. itself in our severe and theoretical discourses. we have now a,--- postmodern structure, a postmodern dance, even perhaps a postmodern philosophy and a postmodern . yet will we have a postmodernist fiction? Brian McHale undertakes to build a model capacious sufficient to incorporate North American metafiction, Latin American magic realism, the French New New Novel, concrete prose and technology fiction, to call yet some of its varieties. the typical denominator is postmodernist fiction's skill to thrust its personal ontological prestige into the foreground and to elevate questions about the area (or worlds) within which we are living. Exploiting a number of theoretical methods to literary ontology - these of Ingarden, Eco, Dolezel, Pavel, Hrushovski and others - and varying largely over modern global literature, McHale assembles a entire repertoire of postmodernist fiction's ideas of world-making and -unmaking. faraway from being, as unsympathetic critics have occasionally complained, approximately not anything yet itself or maybe approximately not anything in any respect, postmodernist fiction in McHale's development of it proves to be approximately (among different issues) these hardy literary perennials, Love and demise. "This is among the so much vigorous and lucid reviews of up to date fiction round. even if you settle together with his provocative definition of the postmodern, McHale's argument is usually enticing, daring, and forceful." _ Linda Hutcheon

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Extra resources for Postmodernist Fiction

Sample text

Also as in Lot 49, there is finally no way to decide between the alternatives. The evidence is so finely balanced that one hesitates between the epistemological and the ontological lines of explanation, without finally resolving the hesitation; hence the “fantastic” effect. The difference between The Turn of the Screw and Lot 49—and it is a crucial difference—is, of course, that James’s governess is herself unaware of the alternatives, believing in the “ghostly” explanation from the outset; the teetering between alternatives goes on “above her head,” a problem for students of literature but not for her.

And if the world of the work of art is analogous to the real world, then, to follow out the analogy, the artist must take an ironic stance in relation to the poetic heterocosm. No longer content with invisibly exercising his freedom to create worlds, the artist now makes his freedom visible by thrusting himself into the foreground of his work. He represents himself in the act of making his fictional world— or unmaking it, which is also his prerogative. There is a catch, of course: the artist represented in the act of creation or destruction is himself inevitably a fiction.

Thus, we not only hesitate among hypotheses, but FROM MODERNIST TO POSTMODERNIST FICTION 19 also between an epistemological and an ontological focus, making Pale Fire a text of limit-modernism, perhaps the paradigmatic limit-modernist novel. Epistemological preoccupations continue to be visible in Ada: the modernist theme of memory, the device of joint narration by Van and Ada, comically dramatizing the disparity between two perspectives on the same objective “facts,” and so on. Nevertheless, the dominant has unmistakably been shifted away from these preoccupations in this text, and it is above all the strange, familiar-yet-alien make-up of the projected world that engrosses our attention, memory and perspectivism having been firmly displaced to the background.

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Postmodernist Fiction by Brian McHale


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