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The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction
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Details

  • Page extent: 240 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.51 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 809.3/9113
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PN3503 .N48 2009
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Fiction--20th century--History and criticism
    • Postmodernism (Literature)

Library of Congress Record

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Hardback

 (ISBN-13: 9780521861571)

Manufactured on demand: supplied direct from the printer

$98.00 (P)
The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction
Cambridge University Press
9780521861571 - The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction - By BRAN NICOL
Frontmatter/Prelims

The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction

Postmodern fiction presents its readers with a challenge: instead of enjoying it passively, they have to work to understand it, to question their own responses, and to examine their views about what fiction is. Yet accepting this challenge is what makes postmodern writing so pleasurable to read and rewarding to study.

Unlike most introductions to postmodernism and fiction, this book places the emphasis on literature rather than theory. It introduces the most prominent British and American novelists associated with postmodernism, from the ‘pioneers’, Beckett, Borges and Burroughs, to important post-war writers such as Pynchon, Carter, Atwood, Morrison, Gibson, Auster, DeLillo, and Ellis. Designed for students and clearly written, this Introduction explains the preoccupations, styles and techniques that unite postmodern authors.

Bran Nicol is Reader in Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of Portsmouth and has previously taught at Lancaster and Chichester. He has published on D. M. Thomas, Iris Murdoch, postmodernism and stalking in contemporary culture.


The Cambridge Introduction to Postmodern Fiction

BRAN NICOL


CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
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Cambridge University Press
The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK

Published in the United States of America by Cambridge University Press, New York

www.cambridge.org
Information on this title: www.cambridge.org/9780521679572

© Bran Nicol 2009

This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

First published 2009

Printed in the United Kingdom at the University Press, Cambridge

A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library

ISBN 978-0-521-86157-1 Hardback
ISBN 978-0-521-67957-2 Paperback

Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.


For Karen, Joe and Jamie


Contents

Acknowledgements
xi
Preface: reading postmodern fiction
xiii
Introduction: postmodernism and postmodernity
1
Postmodernity and ‘late capitalism’
3
Baudrillard and simulation
4
Poststructuralism, postmodernism, and ‘the real’
6
Sociology and the construction of reality
8
Jameson and the crisis in historicity
9
Lyotard and the decline of the metanarrative
11
Irony and ‘double-coding’
12
Chapter 1Postmodern fiction: theory and practice
17
An incredulity towards realism
17
What postmodern fiction does
30
How to read postmodern fiction
39
Chapter 2Early postmodern fiction: Beckett, Borges, and Burroughs
50
Samuel Beckett
52
Jorge Luis Borges
58
William Burroughs
65
Chapter 3US metafiction: Coover, Barth, Nabokov, Vonnegut, Pynchon
72
Barth's Funhouse and Coover's Descants
75
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
82
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
86
Thomas Pynchon
89
Chapter 4The postmodern historical novel: Fowles, Barnes, Swift
99
Historiographic metafiction
103
British historiographic metafiction
105
John Fowles, The French Lieutenant's Woman
106
Graham Swift, Waterland
112
Julian Barnes, Flaubert's Parrot
116
Chapter 5Postmodern-postcolonial fiction
121
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children
124
Toni Morrison, Beloved
127
Ishmael Reed, Mumbo Jumbo
133
Chapter 6Postmodern fiction by women: Carter, Atwood, Acker
140
Angela Carter
142
Margaret Atwood
148
Kathy Acker
156
Chapter 7Two postmodern genres: cyberpunk and ‘metaphysical’ detective fiction
164
Sci-fi and cyberpunk
164
William Gibson, Neuromancer
167
Detective fiction
171
Jorge Luis Borges, ‘Death and the Compass’
173
Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
175
Paul Auster, City of Glass
178
Chapter 8Fiction of the ‘postmodern condition’: Ballard, DeLillo, Ellis
184
Conclusion: ‘ficto-criticism’
184
J. G. Ballard, Crash
186
Don DeLillo, White Noise and Libra
191
Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho
197
References
205
Index
215



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