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The Dialectic of Self and Story : Reading and Storytelling in Contemporary American Fiction - Robert Durante

The Dialectic of Self and Story

Reading and Storytelling in Contemporary American Fiction

Hardcover Published: 20th September 2001
ISBN: 9780815337591
Number Of Pages: 128

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Informed by selected postmodern theories and cultural criticism, this study argues that while American fiction of the 1980s and 1990s bears the outward signs of a return to realism, it also evidences recurring themes of postmodernism, such as alienation, social disintegration, personal despair, historical dislocation, and authorial self-reflexiveness. In individual chapters on Raymond Carver, Richard Ford, Louise Erdrich and a chapter on selected novelists of the Vietnam War, this book explores how the apparent social realism of this fiction betrays equally persistent concerns with literary representation and experimentalism. The subtle but discernible emphasis in this fiction on narrative voice and authorial inventions creates a realist/postmodernist fusion which enhances these writers' visions of contemporary life. While noting the frequency with which these writers depict characters as actual or symbolic authors and readers, this study suggests that these postmodern works, for all their self-reflexiveness, so take on a mediating relationship to the world. The central characters in these texts are themselves storytellers and readers, whose stories at once connect up to the world of experience and throw us back on the problematics of storytelling.

Industry Reviews

""Reading Contemporary Picturbooks is happily more eclectic than a primer. Part social scientist and part literary critic, Lewis approaches his subject through a combination of taxonomical evaluation and meditative analysis, producing an even-handed evaluation of Emil Award-winning British picture books published during the last twenty years. Philip."

Introduction: The Fiction in the Story and the Story in the Fiction
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial as Postmodern Text
Toward Transcendence: Reading and Writing in Raymond Carver's Fiction
Reading the Landscape: Richard Ford's New Realism
Beyond Ethnicity: Realism and Postmodernism in Louise Eldrich's Novels
Reading and Storytelling in Selected Fiction of the Vietnam War
Epilogue: An Extended Map Reading of Contemporary American Fiction
Works Cited
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780815337591
ISBN-10: 0815337590
Series: Literary Criticism and Cultural Theory
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 128
Published: 20th September 2001
Publisher: GARLAND PUB
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.3
Edition Number: 1