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Postmodernist Fiction Paperback – August 12, 1987

ISBN-13: 978-0415045131 ISBN-10: 0415045134 Edition: New edition

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Paperback, August 12, 1987
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Postmodernist Fiction + A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New edition edition (August 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415045134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415045131
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #81,974 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'This is one of the most lively and lucid studies of contemporary fiction around. Whether or not you agree with his provocative definition of the postmodern, McHale's argument is always engaging, bold and forceful' - Linda Hutcheon

`Not only does the critical jargon not get in the way of his thesis, but McHale even uses examples you've heard of ... A useful and comprehensive examination of the nature of The Beast.' - City Limits

`McHale ... has written a brilliant, forceful and lucid defence of his own view.' - John Fletcher, Journal of European Studies

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 14, 1998
The one definable quality of postmodern literature is its resistance to definitions. Any survey of the criticism done in this field will turn up a huge number of "central characteristics," some of which seem contradictory, others of which are just plain impossible to wrap your mind around. McHale, like so many of his colleagues, does attempt a "paradigm" of postmodernism, but his at least has the advantage of being easy to grasp. Using the idea of the literary "dominant" as set forth by the narratologist/linguist Roman Jakobson, McHale argues that postmodernism in general "foregrounds" ontological issues (questions of being), as opposed to modernist writing, which foregrounds epistemological issues (questions of the nature and limits of knowledge). For example, a novel such as Carlos Fuentes' Terra Nostra is deeply postmodern to the extent that it disrupts time and space (factors that determine the nature of being) by gathering together various literary and historical figures in one place for "transtemporal feasts." A high-modernist book such as Joyce's Ulysses, on the other hand, concerns itself more with the nature of knowing: how people think, how information is created and transmitted, what discourses influence our thought and perceptions of the world, and so on. Obviously, this paradigm isn't perfect: seldom is fiction exclusively epistemological or ontological in emphasis, leaving the critic to make the highly subjective decision over which concern is foregrounded in any particular work.Read more ›
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1999
No one has ever been able to place a great contemporary within a set framework, or at least not until they (the great contemporaries) finally fit the framework, in a way that suited the scheme of the critics of the time, or were well out of the way and hence harmless in the sense of further complicating the matter. Most of the literary criticism frameworks provided so far (20th century-wise) have been non-rigid and quite self-abating, but few are as analytical and as erudite as this. Read it; you may learn.
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