Delving into how the traumatic experience of the Second World War formed – or perhaps malformed – the post-war experimental novel, this book explores how the symbolic violence of post-war normalization warped societies' perception of reality. Andrew Hodgson explores how the novel was used by authors to attempt to communicate in such a climate, building a memorial space that has been omitted from literatures and societies of the post-war period. Hodgson investigates this space as it is portrayed in experimental modern British and French fiction, considering themes of amnesia, myopia, delusion and dementia. Such themes are constantly referred back to and posit in narrative a motive for the very broken forms these books often take – books in boxes; of spare pages to be shuffled at the reader's will; with holes in pages; missing whole sections of the alphabet; or books written and then entirely scrubbed out in smudged black ink. Covering the works of B. S. Johnson, Ann Quin, Georges Perec, Roland Topor, Raymond Queneau and others, Andrew Hodgson shows that there is method to the madness of experimental fiction and legitimizes the form as a prominent presence within a wider literary and historical movement in European and American avant-garde literatures.
In the decades following the immediately postwar period in Britain, a loose grouping of experimental writers that included Alan Burns, Christine Brooke-Rose, B. S. Johnson, and Ann Quin worked against the dominance, as they saw it, of the realist novel of the literary mainstream. Late Modernism and the Avant-Garde British Novel reassesses the experimentalism versus realism debates of the period, and finds a body of work engaged with, rather than merely antagonistic towards, the literary culture it sought to renovate. Charting these engagements, it shows how they have significance not just for our understanding of these decades but for the broader movement of the novel through the century. This volume takes some of the claims made about experimental fiction--that it is unreadable, nonlinear, elliptical, errant, plotless--and reimagines these descriptors as historically inscribed tendencies that express the period's investment in the idea of the accidental. These novels are interested in the fleeting and the fugitive, in discontinuity and shock. The experimental novel cultivates an interest in methods of representation that are oblique: attempting to conjure the world at an angle, or in the rear-view mirror; by ellipsis or evasion. These concepts--error, indeterminacy, uncertainty, accident--all bear a relation to that which evades or resists interpretation and meaning. Asking what are the wider political, ethical, and philosophical correlates of this incommensurability, Late Modernism and the Avant-Garde British Novel reads experimental literature in this light, as suffused with anxiety about its adequacy in the light of its status as necessarily imitative and derivative, and therefore redolent of the forms of not-knowing and uncertainty that mark late modernism more generally.
A collection of essays on the 1960s experimental writer B.S. Johnson, this book draws together new research on all aspects of his work, and, in tracing his connections to a wider circle of continental, British and American avant-garde writers, offers exciting new approaches to reading 1960s experimental fiction.
Narrative and Fantasy in the Post-War German Novel, a study of novels by Uwe Johnson, Max Frisch, Christa Wolf, Jurek Becker, and Gunter Grass, investigates the fictions and fantasies invented by five narrators, examining the purpose which the fictions serve within each text and the means bywhich each author deliberately draws attention to them. All five authors are shown to be concerned with the kinds of stories which ordinary people tell about themselves and their past lives. While some of the texts demonstrate the positive power of imagination, others point to the dangers offiction: its tendency to falsify reality and to encourage escapist and violent fantasies. This is the first major study of this distinctive trend in post-war German fiction.
Bradbury argues that almost a century since the emergence of Modernism, it is now possible to see the entire period in perspective. It is clear that the first 50 years - from Henry James, Wilde and Stevenson, through James Joyce, Lawrence, Forster, to Huxley, Isherwood and Orwell - have been extensively discussed in print. The years since World War II, though, have not been examined in depth, yet have produced talents such as Graham Greene, Angus Wilson, Beckett, Doris Lessing, Margaret Drabble, Angela Carter, Ian McEwan, Kingsley and Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Fay Weldon, Salman Rushdie and Timothy Mo.
Some humanist critics contend that only realist texts have an ethical function, that there is no ethical message behind the parodic and self-conscious games played by experimental fiction and that, since emotion neutralises the ethical faculties, there is no ethical dimension in such excess-pedling postmodernist genres and modes as kitsch, melodrama and romance. Yet, one may argue that the defamiliarisation imposed by parody, metafictional overkill and sundry devices symptomatic of emotional paroxysm on the realist text involves some measure of criticism of received truth and makes for the practice of a non-deontic ethics of truths that is also fairly often an ethics of alterity. This volume examines analytical evidence for the ethical component in key experimental British novels from the 1960's to the present, with special focus on John Fowles, Brigid Brophy, B. S. Johnson, Angela Carter, Peter Ackroyd, A. S. Byatt, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, Will Self, Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes.
This study focuses on shorter prose texts in post-War Germany, especially works by Durrenmatt, Hochhuth and Walser. Bringing to bear different but complementary approaches, Dr. Plouffe considers the Novelle and its Anglo-Saxon counterparts, the short story and novella, in their shared themes of uncertain existence and ambiguity of language - motifs deriving largely from Freud and Lacan.