Fiction's Present (Google eBook)

Front Cover
R. M. Berry, Jeffrey R. Di Leo
SUNY Press - Literary Criticism - 311 pages
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Combining creative and critical responses from some of todayís most progressive and innovative novelists, critics, and theorists, Fictionís Present adventurously engages the aesthetic, political, philosophical, and cultural dimensions of contemporary fiction. By juxtaposing scholarly articles with essays by practicing novelists, the book takes up not only the current state of literature and its criticism but also connections between contemporary philosophy and contemporary fiction. In doing so, the contributors aim to provoke further discussion of the present inflection of fictionóa present that can be seen as Janus-faced, looking both forward to the novelís radically changed, political, economic, and technological circumstances, and back to its history of achievements and problems.

Editors R. M. Berry and Jeffrey R. Di Leo contend that examinations of fictionís present are most informative not when they defend philosophical distinctions or develop literary classifications, but when they grapple with elusive topics such as the meaning of a narrative present or the relation of fictionís medium to its representations of context. As the essays reveal, this process, when pursued diligently, breaks down traditional divisions of academic and intellectual labor, compelling the fiction writer to become more philosophical and the theorist to become more imaginative. The value of this book is not in the exhaustiveness of its treatment, but rather in the seriousness of the criticism it incites. The present materializes in quarrel, and it is toward such a beginning that the writings in Fictionís Present work.
  

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Contents

Preface
xi
Acknowledgments
xv
12 Theses on Fictions Present
1
Fictions Present
11
Innovative Fiction and the Poetics of Power
17
A Plea or Provocation for Globalization Studies
29
Fictions Present without Basis
47
Three Novels
67
James Cather Vollmann and the Distinction of Historical Fiction
159
Fourteen Notes Toward the Musicality of Creative Disjunction or Fiction by Collage
185
Mount Rushmore Four Brief Essays on Fictions
191
Recognition as a Depleted Source in Lynne Tillmans Motion Sickness
195
A Modality
209
Critifictional Reflections on the Pathetic Condition of the Novel in Our Time
213
Henry Miller to Henry James
231
In Their Own Words The Collective Presents Itself
235

American WorldFiction in the Longue Durťe
73
Postpostmodern Discontent Contemporary Fiction and the Social World
101
Toward the Edge of the Hermetic Notes on Raising Fiction from the Dead
119
The SelfDeceiving Muse Fiction and the Rationalistic Dictates of the Present
127
Notes on Fiction and Philosophy
147
World Book
251
Two Presents
255
About the Contributors
265
Index
269
Copyright

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Page v - Art lives upon discussion, upon experiment, upon curiosity, upon variety of attempt, upon the exchange of views and the comparison of standpoints; and there is a presumption that those times when no one has anything particular to say about it, and has no reason to give for practice or preference, though they may be times of honour, are not times of development ó are times, possibly even, a little of dullness.

About the author

R. M. Berry is Professor of English at Florida State University and author of the novel Frank.

Jeffrey R. Di Leo is Associate Professor of English and Philosophy at the University of Houston at Victoria and editor of the American Book Review and symplokē.

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