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Dominic Head

imagination, the short stories should be unsurprising seems slightly disingenuous. With hindsight, it is hard not to see something anarchic in the early stories, the literary wing of ‘punk’ culture shaking up the literary establishment, widely perceived as moribund in the 1970s.2 That perception of 1970s literature may be questionable, less convincing with hindsight; but it certainly had a bearing on the perceived ‘shock’ element of McEwan’s early work. Yet this may also be to clinch McEwan’s point: there are proven models to show that literature can render extreme

in Ian McEwan
Denis Flannery

far from ‘ongoing’ or linear. Like the makers of popular music in the long 1989 as described by Clover – Nirvana, 162  Alan Hollinghurst KLF, Madonna – Jarman and Hollinghurst make work that often challenges Fukuyama’s fantasy of history’s end. For Clover, this happened through the agitated reworking of earlier musical styles (as in Nirvana’s reworking of the styles of 1970s punk), through the use of sampling technology that amounted, in the work of the KLF, to a call for ‘a time that is not in time, a unity outside history’), or through the tincturing of smooth

in Alan Hollinghurst
Michèle Mendelssohn

plain sight and, to my knowledge, they have never been analysed. Tom of Finland is one of the most important sources for his erotic ekphrasis. Tom’s hypermasculine men – lumberjacks, farmhands, roughnecks, shower boys, workers, bikers, leathered men and, beginning in the mid1980s, blacks and punks – have been credited with transforming cruising culture as well as enabling generations of gay men to embrace and explore their sexuality. In his debut novel, The Swimming-Pool Library, Hollinghurst decorated Lord Charles Nantwich’s home with ‘Romans with great big willies

in Alan Hollinghurst
Louise Tondeur

sex organ’s pubic hair? Wildly grown, unkempt pubic hair indexes the hippie attitude of natural spontaneity; yuppies prefer the disciplinary procedure of a French garden (one shaves the hair on both sides close to the legs, so that all that remains is a narrow band in the middle with a clear-cut shave line); in the punk attitude, the vagina is wholly shaven and furnished with rings … Is this not yet another version of the Levi-Straussian semiotic triangle of ‘raw’ wild hair, well-kept ‘baked’ hair and shaved ‘boiled’ hair? 62 She might then

in The last taboo
Marie Helena Loughlin

undermine their frequently xeno-homophobic agenda, and ostensibly celebratory works sometimes intermingle the figure of the faithful friend with that of the despised sodomite or tribade. Satiric genres, discourses, and modes refer to the sodomite and sodomy in a variety of contexts.9 In the sixteenth century, classical satire modelled on Juvenal and Horace depicted the sodomite either as the licentious gentleman/courtier with his ingle or catamite on one arm and his female punk or whore on the other; or as the physically abusive schoolmaster, whose corporal punishment of

in Same-Sex Desire in Early Modern England, 1550–1735
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Dominic Head

Love, Last Rites and In Between the Sheets (1978), as well as the first longer fiction, The Cement Garden. Moving beyond the studiedly anarchic and iconoclastic element of the early work, the chapter considers ways in which the iconoclasm – a literary branch of the punk movement, perhaps – suggests the felt need to revitalize the British literary scene. Behind the immediate impact of these fictions, we can discern thoughtful deliberations on the role and function of literature, the germ of more extended deliberations in the later work. The readings given of stories

in Ian McEwan
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The limits of comedy
Robert Duggan

the catalogue of sexual harassment experienced by Selina in Money: [A] musk-breathing, toffee-offering sicko on the common, the toolshed interrogations of sweat-soaked parkies, some lumbering retard in the alley or the lane, right up to the narcissist photographers and priapic prop-boys who used to cruise her at work, and now the scowling punks, soccer trogs and bus-stop boogies malevolently lining the streets. (Amis, 1985a, 14) Amis’s work contains many such examples of what we can call a proliferation of details and of description, combined with his much

in The grotesque in contemporary British fiction
Coupland, consumption and junk culture
Andrew Tate

integrity, its ability to generate real resistance to dominant culture?’ asks Leslie Haynsworth. Citing the promisingly seditious energies of Coupland’s writing and best-selling politicized punks Green Day, Haynsworth identifies the re-emergence of a long-standing question: ‘Is it possible to be subversive from within the system?’16 The capacity of a free-market economy to exploit new and potentially subversive art forms is seemingly limitless. This idea surfaces in Microserfs as part of Susan’s discussion of René Magritte and early-twentieth-century painting

in Douglas Coupland
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Naomi Baker

nauseous Punks, and dowdy Blouzes: Why not great Fiddles please your Maids, For wearing strange prepost’rous Heads? Or Barber’s Block be priz’d for having A phiz to humour Fools while shaving? For awkward Things effect the Eyes The most, by giving new Surprize. 62

in Plain ugly
Manchester’s mixed-genre anthologies and short-story collections
Lynne Pearce

black writer at this time was to bear witness and provide testimony. 15 See, for example, the new ‘Womanswrite’ anthology, Life, Death . . . The Whole Damn Thing (Bolton et al., 2011). 16 In the introduction to Under the Banyan Tree and Other Stories (1985), R. K. Narayan cites a lecturer he once heard who cryptically observed that ‘A short story must be short and have a story’ (Rau, 2005: 319). 17 New Order was the band that evolved out of iconic post-punk Manchester band Joy Division (see Chapter 1) following the death of Ian Curtis. See the New Order website at

in Postcolonial Manchester