Succeeding Postmodernism: Language and Humanism in Contemporary American Literature

Overview

While critics collect around the question of what comes "after postmodernism," this book asks something different about recent American fiction: what if we are seeing not the end of postmodernism but its belated success? Succeeding Postmodernism examines how novels by DeLillo, Wallace, Danielewski, Foer and others conceptualize threats to individuals and communities posed by a poststructural culture of mediation and simulation, and possible ways of resisting the disaffected solipsism bred by that culture. ...
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Succeeding Postmodernism: Language and Humanism in Contemporary American Literature

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Overview

While critics collect around the question of what comes "after postmodernism," this book asks something different about recent American fiction: what if we are seeing not the end of postmodernism but its belated success? Succeeding Postmodernism examines how novels by DeLillo, Wallace, Danielewski, Foer and others conceptualize threats to individuals and communities posed by a poststructural culture of mediation and simulation, and possible ways of resisting the disaffected solipsism bred by that culture. Ultimately it finds that twenty-first century American fiction sets aside the postmodern problem of how language does or does not mean in order to raise the reassuringly retro question of what it can and does mean: it finds that novels today offer language as solution to the problem of language. Thus it suggests a new way of reading "antihumanist" late postmodern fiction, and a framework for understanding postmodern and twenty-first century fiction as participating in a long and newly enlivened tradition of humanism and realism in literature.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this sense, Succeeding Postmodernism is at once a very useful contribution to the field of literary studies...I would recommend it to students of literature." — Timotheus Vermeulen, Radboud University Nijmegen, American Book Review, May/June 2013
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781628925340
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 10/23/2014
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary K. Holland is Assistant Professor of contemporary literature at The State University of New York, New Paltz, USA. Her work on irony and narcissism, poststructural realism, and mothering and media in fiction and film has appeared in Critique, The Jourbanal of Popular Culture, and A Companion to David Foster Wallace Studies.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Writing Postmodern Humanism / 1. "Dead Souls Babbling": Language, Loss, and Community in Don DeLillo's The Names and White Noise 2. "The Art's Heart's Purpose": Braving the Narcissistic Loop of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest / 3. A Lamb in Wolf's Clothing: Postmodern Realism in A. M. Homes's Music for Torching and This Book Will Save Your Life / 4. Recuperating the Postmodern Family: Mediating Loss in Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves / 5. Joining Gravity: Making Language Matter in Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Jonathan Safran Foer's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, and Steve Tomasula's The Book of Portraiture / 6. "Set [...] down softly beside you": Poststructural Realism in David Foster Wallace's "Octet" and Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything Is Illuminated / Conclusion: Metamodernism / Bibliography / Index

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