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Gavin Edwards

commodities with the products of men’s hands.’ 3 Stuart Hall, interpreting Marx in the context of twentieth-century consumer capitalism, echoes Dickens’s language when he says that, for Marx, ‘workers are split off from the products of their labour which stare back at them from the shelves of shops, stores and supermarkets as if they were alien objects’. 4 Dickens, from this perspective, is coming face to face with the social character of literary production in the displaced form of ‘T HE E ND ’, the staring typeface. Indeed, in a later chapter of Capital Marx

in The Case of the Initial Letter
James Baldwin, the Religious Right, and the Moral Minority
Joseph Vogel

In the 1980s, James Baldwin recognized that a major transformation had occurred in the socio-political functions of religion. His critique adapted accordingly, focusing on the ways in which religion—particularly white evangelical Christianity—had morphed into a movement deeply enmeshed with mass media, conservativepolitics, and late capitalism. Religion in the Reagan era was leveraged, sold, and consumed in ways never before seen, from charismatic televangelists, to Christian-themed amusement parks, to mega-churches. The new movement was often characterized as the “religious right” or the “Moral Majority” and was central to both Reagan’s political coalition as well as the broader culture wars. For Baldwin, this development had wide-ranging ramifications for society and the individual. This article draws on Baldwin’s final major essay, “To Crush the Serpent” (1987), to examine the author’s evolving thoughts on religion, salvation, and transgression in the context of the Reagan era.

James Baldwin Review
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Author: Bruce Woodcock

Peter Carey's fictions explore the experiences lurking in the cracks of normality, and are inhabited by hybrid characters living in between spaces or on the margins. Carey took a circuitous route into literature and writing. Characterising Carey's stories takes us to the heart of his fictional practice. Most adopt a mixture of narrative modes, a central feature of his writing. In Carey stories, terminal societies trap characters in drive-in movie car parks, or offer the bizarre possibility of exchanging bodies, or generate a counter-revolutionary resistance movement led by fat men. Grouping the stories around themes and issues allows for a fairly comprehensive insight into Carey's shorter works, and provides some key threads for later discussions of the longer fiction. Four of the most significant areas are: American imperialism and culture; capitalism; power and authority; and gender. In Bliss, the hippy capitalists of 'War Crimes' are replaced by the more conventional scenario of hippies versus capitalists. Illywhacker examines twentieth-century Australian history with the savage humour and fantasy of the earlier fiction now placed within an epic framework. Oscar and Lucinda might be termed 'retro-speculative' fiction. The Tax Inspector is Carey's most savage novel to date, and it captures Marx's vision of the ravening effects of capital. The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith marks a return to the overt alternative world-building found in the early stories with their fantastic and fable-like scenarios. The overlap between post-modernism and post-colonialism in Carey has been investigated by a number of critics.

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Work, narrative and identity in a market age
Author: Angela Lait

The global financial crisis of the early twenty-first century focused attention on the processes that sustain the excesses of corporate capitalism. This book gives an account of the role played by literature in human subjectivity and identity under the working conditions of late-capitalism as these affect the well-being of specialist, middle-class and public sector professionals. It explores how the organisation struggles to reconcile the flexibility and responsiveness characteristic of modern business with the unity and stability needed for a coherent image. Next, an examination of business survivor manuals addressing the needs of employees failing to cope with time-pressure and the required transformation into perfect new economy workers discovers their use of appealing narrative principles. The book covers the theoretical foundations on which assumptions about the subjectivity and identity of the professional middle class have been made, including the ideological pressures and contradictions. It also investigates satisfying work more fully through analysis of popular practical instruction books on cookery and horticulture. The book considers how organic activities involving slow time, such as horticulture, cookery and the craft of writing about them, give a strong cultural message concerning the current organisation of time, work satisfaction and relationships. In particular, it deals with how the human feels attuned to balance, continuity and interconnectedness through the cyclical patterns and regulated rhythms of slower evolutionary change evident in natural systems. The nature of the autobiographic text is also considered in the book.

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Haunted by the grotesque
Robert Duggan

Chapter 7 Toby Litt: haunted by the grotesque Self ’s work contains striking contradictions at times, demanding that readers believe in the veracity of his fictional world while intentionally undermining the very processes that would make such consideration possible. (Hayes, 2007, 4) Toby Litt’s first collection of stories, Adventures in Capitalism (2003) was first published in 1996 and immediately created a critical stir around its inventive approach to the world of branding and consumerism. The book’s playful combination of actual brand names (including HMV

in The grotesque in contemporary British fiction
Black Baby’s revision of Irish motherhood
Maureen T. Reddy

coma during the second part of the novel and imagine it outside the discourses – of church, capitalism, patriarchy, race – that have previously defined it, Boylan suggests a possible trajectory for Irish feminist thought. Central to the progress and promise of this thought is reconceptualising race and including race seriously in any attempt to undo the colonisation of Irishwomen. That is, Boylan implies here that the oppression of race is not a parallel to the oppression of Irishwomen by gender, but a constitutive component of it. In its recognition of that

in Literary visions of multicultural Ireland
Political and aesthetic disruption in Against the Day
Simon Malpas and Andrew Taylor

emergence of the nation, but the ravages of empire; not progress as emancipation, but impending or consummated catastrophe’.5 In its postmodern guise, the historical novel looks a thoroughly anarchic beast, intent on overturning the progressive teleologies of its ancestor: Since postmodernism was famously defined, by Jameson himself, as the aesthetic regime of an ‘age that has forgotten how to think historically’ [in Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism], the resurrection of the historical novel might seem paradoxical. But this is a second coming with

in Thomas Pynchon
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Bruce Woodcock

significant areas are: American imperialism and culture; capitalism; power and authority; and gender. America has a spectral fascination for many Australian writers, as Don Anderson has pointed out. He usefully quotes Jean Baudrillard to help explain this: ‘whatever one thinks of the arrogance of the dollar or the multinationals, it is this culture which, the world over, fascinates those very people who suffer most at its hands, and it does so through the deep, insane conviction that it has made all their dreams come true.’ 9 In ‘American Dreams

in Peter Carey
Simon Wortham

work of art’ of Van Gogh’s depiction of shoes; Frederic Jameson’s discussion in ‘The cultural logic of late capitalism’ of portrayals of footwear in modern art, where Van Gogh’s painting and Heidegger’s analysis importantly receive mention; and Derrida’s own encounter with Van Gogh’s painting of shoes, via the correspondence between Heidegger and Shapiro, in ‘Restitutions’. In

in Rethinking the university
Bruce Woodcock

power-crazed psychopathic business world of ‘War Crimes’, but with the unsettling awareness that this is no longer fantasy. Carey paints a vitriolic portrait of social decay and disintegration, the collapse of communal ethics and the sheer rapacity of the business world consequent upon the global market economy of the late 1980s. As in Bliss , he links together two areas of urgent concern, rampant capitalism and child sexual abuse. Abuse in the family is seen in relation to wider failures of social responsibility manifest in the corrupt abuses of power and wealth in

in Peter Carey