Novel Arguments: Reading Innovative American Fiction

Novel Arguments: Reading Innovative American Fiction

by Richard Walsh
     
 

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Novel arguments argues that innovative fiction - by which is meant writing that has been variously labeled postmodern, metafictional, experimental - extends our ways of thinking about the world, and rejects the critical consensus that, under the rubrics of postmodernism and metafiction, homogenizes this fiction as autonomous and self-absorbed. Play, self-consciousness… See more details below

Overview

Novel arguments argues that innovative fiction - by which is meant writing that has been variously labeled postmodern, metafictional, experimental - extends our ways of thinking about the world, and rejects the critical consensus that, under the rubrics of postmodernism and metafiction, homogenizes this fiction as autonomous and self-absorbed. Play, self-consciousness, and immanence - supposed symptoms of innovative fiction's autonomy - are here reconsidered as integral to its means of engagement. The book advances a concept of the "argument" of fiction as a construct wedding structure and content into a highly evolved and expressive experimental form. Close readings of five important innovative novels by Donald Barthelme, Ishmael Reed, Robert Coover, Walter Abish, and Kathy Acker show how they articulate matters of substance, social engagement, and ideological currency by virtue of the act of innovation. Walsh deftly argues for a new understanding of fictional cognition at the theoretical level, and, in an act of great critical creativity, discards altogether the flattening totalities of received postmodern formulations.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521107037
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
04/02/2009
Series:
Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture Series, #91
Pages:
200
Sales rank:
982,169
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

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