Before his death from leukemia at the age of 36, Allon White had become known as one of the most important literary and cultural critics of his generation. Carnival, Hysteria, and Writing represents a summation of the work which, as Stuart Hall explains in an extended introduction, transformed cultural studies in the 1980s. Allon White's central concerns - with writing, carnival, the body, hysteria, and memory - recur with differing inflections in the
pieces collected here. Wide-ranging in scope, the essays move with fluency from an analysis of the work of Julia Kristeva to a discussion of language and location in Dicken's Bleak House, and from a
Thomas Pynchon short story to the 'seriousness' of academic language. Other pieces deal with Gilles Deleuze and Francis Bacon, and with Mikhail Bakhtin, a major influence on Allon White's thinking. Included too is the poignant autobiographical fragment, 'Too Close to the Bone'. An Afterword by Jacqueline Rose deals with the links between theory and autobiography and between the academic and personal writings in the book. A memorial to Allon White's life and work, Carnival,
Hysteria, and Writing will be essential reading for all working within literary and cultural studies.
`Here is everything that was already so fully achieved in Allon White's writing; the thrilled, dissective passion of the analysis, the metaphorical ebullience, the cool hold of the argument. At a time when intellectual work is being systematically milled down into institutionalized drudgery, his example reminds us of the vitality and ardour owed to thought.'
Times Literary Supplement
`this slim collected essays volume gives a special glimpse of Britain's great hope in the cult studs league'
The Modern Review
`gives a special glimpse of Britain's great hope in the cult studs league'