Postirony: The Nonfictional Literature of David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers

Postirony: The Nonfictional Literature of David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers

by Lukas Hoffmann


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What is "postirony"? First and foremost, it is a response to the ironic zeitgeist. Moreover, it is the key to understanding a specific form of literature. The contemporary reader is familiar with and – unfortunately – used to postmodernism's ironic, self-reflexive metafiction. Authors like David Foster Wallace and Dave Eggers choose a different path: despite the reign of contemporary irony, they strive to reach the reader on a level beyond, cognitively as well as emotionally – they claim to be sincere and true. Focusing largely on nonfiction by these authors, Lukas Hoffmann explores the means the texts use to achieve something new – a new form of sincerity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783837636611
Publisher: Transcript Verlag, Roswitha Gost, Sigrid Nokel u. Dr. Karin Werner
Publication date: 02/07/2017
Series: Lettre
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Lukas Hoffmann is head of studies and teaches narratology at the Academy of Performing Arts in Ludwigsburg, Germany. His research interests include contemporary literature, narrative ethics, reader-response criticism, and post-theory.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 8

Introduction 9

Post-Postmodernism, Postirony, and New Sincerity 10

Genre Mailers 11

Creative Nonfiction - Memoir and Autocriticism 18

New Voices in Contemporary Literature 21

Dave Eggers - Counter-Cultural Hero and Idealist 23

David Foster Wallace - Changing the Tone of Contemporary Literature 25

Jonathan Lethem and Nick Flynn - Postirony's 2nd Generation 33

Synopsis 34

Postirony - Conceptualizing an Idea 37

Richard Rorty - The Liberal Ironist 42

Linda Hutcheon - Irony's Edge 46

David Foster Wallace - How Irony Spread 47

Irony - An Ail-Embracing Attitude 51

Jedediah Purdy - A Return to Traditional Values 55

Alex Shakar - The Savage Girl 57

The Postironic - A Philosophical Stand 59

Reading the Postironic - Audience, Narrator, and Metalepsis 65

Audiences - Preliminary Thoughts 68

Metalepsis 69

Audience - Narratee and Narrative Audience 70

Dave Eggers - Living the Postironic 89

Meta-Autobiography 90

Trauma - True Feelings and the Plot 92

The Nonfictional Frame 95

Struggling With Postmodernism 100

"I Want to Be Doing Something Beautiful"-Narrating Dave and Narrated Dave 105

The Narrated Dave 110

The Narrating Dave and His Audience 117

Justifying the Narrative 120

Concluding AHWOSG 123

David Foster Wallace - Hope and Despair; The Postironic Condition 127

"Author's Foreword" - Faking Memoir, Talking Truth 131

The Audience and the Autobiographical 135

Subjectivity, Veracity, Sincerity 139

"Author's Foreword" Part II - Auto criticism, the Reader, and Postirony 142

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again 148

The Text Within the Text - Critique as Reassurance 152

The Wallace Style - Footnotes, Asides, and Metafiction 155

Free Choice vs. Pampered Into Despair 156

Desperation Cruise 161

Concluding "Fun Thing" 164

Consider the Lobster 166

The Audience of the Lobster 170

Concluding Wallace 171

A Second Generation Emerges 175

Nick Flynn - Reenacting Memoir 175

Jonathan Let hem - Postironic Ecstasy 185

Conclusion 191

Identifying the Enemy - Irony's Reign 193

The Nonfictional Frame 195

Autobiography - Postironic Idiosyncrasies 196

Reading Postironic Differences 197

Postirony in Autobiography 198

Postirony in Autocritical Essays 198

Concluding Thoughts 199

Works Cited 201

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