Postmodernist Fiction

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 66
  • Published : April 10, 2013
Open Document
Text Preview
Brian McHale
Postmodernist Fiction
Routledge
A MEMBER OF THE TAYLOR » FRANCIS GROUP
* Ft not?"

POSTMODERNIST FICTION
Brian McHale
London and New York
In memory of

Robert J. McHale 1927-85 Steve Sloan 1952-85 Arthur A. Cohen 1928-86 First published in 1987 by
Melhuen, Inc.
••,
Published in Great Britain by Methuen 6- Co. Ltd
Reprinted 1989,1991 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane London EC4P 4EE 29 West 35th Street New York, NY 10001 © 19S7 Brian McHale
Photosct by Rowland Phototypesetting Ltd
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Printed in Great Britain at the
University Press, Cambridge
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced, or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording or in any information storage or retrici>al system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data

McHale, Brian.

Postmodernist fiction.
Bibliography: p.
Includes index.
1. Fiction—20//1 century—History and criticism. 2. Postmodernism.

I. Title. PN3503.M24 1987

809j'04

86-31140

/SEN 0-416-36390-3 ISBN 0-415-04513-4

British Lil'rui-y Ctitiil
McHale, Brim. Postmodernist ficti 1. Fiction — 20th ce I. Title. S09.3

PN35U3

ISBN 0-416-363 90-3 1SBNO-4I5-U4513-4

m Publication Data
tury — History and criticism.

Contents
Acknowledgments Preface
x
XI

Part One:

Preliminaries

1: From modernist to postmodernist fiction: change of dominant The dominant
Beckett
Robbe-Grillet
Fuentes
Nabokov
Coover

Pynchon
2: Some ontologies of fiction Heterocosm
"The old analogy between Author and God" Ingarden Possible worlds The social construction of (un)reality 3
6 12 13
15 18 19 21
26
27
29
30
3336
Part Two:

Worlds

3: In the zone
How to build a zone Ohio, Oz, and other zones Intertextual zones 4: Worlds in collision Parallel lines
43
45 49 56

59 62

viii POSTMODERNIST FICTION
CONTENTS
IX

The science-fictionalization of postmodernism The postmodernization of science fiction 5: A world next door
Hesitation
Banality
Resistance
From "worlds" to worlds
Displaced fantastic
6:
Constrained realemes Apocryphal history Creative anachronism Historical fantasy Part Three: Construction
7: Worlds under erasure
SSswthfflgexistS'
Excluded middles, forking paths
The sense of a (non-)ending
8: Chinese-box worlds
Toward infinite regress
Trompe-rceil
Strange loops, or metalepsis
Characters in search of an author
Abysmal fictions
Which reel?
Part Four: Words
9: Tropological worlds Hesitation revisited Hypertrophy I Postmodernist allegory ^ Allegory against itself 10: Styled worlds
Kitty-litter, litanies, back-broke sentences
Letters
Machines
65 68
73
74 76 77 79 80

84
86
90 93 94
99

101 103 106
109

112
114
115 119 121 124 128
133
134 137 140
143

148
151
156 159
11: Worlds of discourse
Discourse in the novel
Heteroglossia
Carnival
Part Five:

162
154
155
J7]

Groundings

12: Worlds on paper
179
"A spatial displacement of words"
181
Concrete prose
184
Illustration and anti-illustration
187
The schizoid text
190
Model kits
194
13: Authors: dead and posthumous
197
The dead author
199
Auto-bio-graphy
202
Roman-a-clcf
206
Authority.
210
Short-circuit
213
Part Six: How I learned to stop worrying and love postmodernism 14: Love and death in the post-modernist novel
219
Love...
222
. . . and death
227
Coda: the sense of Joyce's endings
233
Notes
236

Index

259

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
PREFACE
The author and publishers would like to thank the following copyright holders for permission to reproduce the extracts of concrete prose which appear on pp. 185-8.
Christine Brooke-Rose and Hamish Hamilton, London, for the extract from Thru (London, Hamish Hamilton, 1975). Ronald Sukenick for the extract from his book Long Talking Bad Conditions Blues...
tracking img