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Author: David Brauner

This is a study of the contemporary American novelist, Philip Roth. Reading alongside a number of his contemporaries and focusing particularly on his later fiction, it offers a view of Roth as an intellectually adventurous and stylistically brilliant writer who constantly reinvents himself in surprising ways. At the heart of this book are a number of readings of Roth's works both in terms of their relationships with each other and with fiction by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thomas Pynchon, Tim O'Brien, Bret Easton Ellis, Stanley Elkin, Howard Jacobson and Jonathan Safran Foer. The book identifies as a thread running through all of Roth's work the use of paradox, both as a rhetorical device and as an organising intellectual and ideological principle.

Melodrama, Mystery, and the Nightmare of History in Jessie Fauset‘s Plum Bun
Charles Scruggs

This essay discusses how African-American novelist Jessie Fauset used the Gothic motif of a hidden history to critique the melodramatic happy ending of her best novel, one set in New York city in the 1920s. What undermines the ‘moral legibility’ of melodrama is the Gothic implications of an unsolved crime in the past, one that, ironically, continues to haunts the ‘New Negro’ of the Harlem Renaissance who claims to have reinvented him or herself in the modern city.

Gothic Studies
Open Access (free)
Towards an archaeology of modernism
Jay Bernstein

spleen, for American novelistic modernism. American Pastoral is thus not only an attempt at construing the normative fall of America, in so doing it means to provide an archaeology of the very modernism Roth has been practising throughout his career; the fall of the dream is, at the same time, the undermining of the forms of representation of the realist novel as providing the epic of the modern world. If dissonance, formally, is to become the bearer of a secular ideal, then its claim must be about the Melancholy as form 177 relation between collapsing ideality

in The new aestheticism
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David Brauner

again and again, revisiting old hunting grounds and breaking into new ones; honing, refining, sharpening and expanding his armoury. Writing about any living artist presents certain difficulties: the writing is still evolving, the reputation built on that career being revised as each new work appears. Writing on contemporary American fiction is particularly problematic because it is a very crowded field and one which is especially susceptible to the fluctuations of literary-critical fashion; new contenders for the title of ‘Great American Novelist’ are constantly

in Philip Roth
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Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella, and Helena Wahlström

century and the first of the twenty-first. The cultural work that literary orphans perform today, we propose, responds to and intervenes in social and discursive challenges to American identity in an era of new social movements, culture wars, minority and gay rights, alternative families, globalization, and terrorism. We attempt to show the ways that contemporary American novelists use the orphan as a figure of difference in order to interrogate normative definitions of family and nation, and to sketch their Introduction 3 possible re-formulations. In doing so

in Making home
The material production of American literature in nineteenth-century Britain
Katie McGettigan

the novel’s American identity even whilst situating it in a transatlantic tradition. The BSN introduction, attributed to ‘O. C’, introduces Brown as ‘one of the earliest American novelists, and inferior to none of his countrymen who succeeded him’ (Schiller and Brown, 1831 : v). However, the writer quickly adds that ‘it might truly be said, that in originality he has not been surpassed by any inventor of story of whatever age or country’: Brown is situated first nationally and then globally (p. v). The

in Interventions
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David Brauner

development of the post-war American novel in particular. Roth’s place in the canon now seems assured; there is a general consensus that he is the most important living American novelist and a growing body of opinion that he is the best post-war American writer. The only major literary prize that has so far eluded him is the Nobel Prize for Literature, and if I were a gambling man I would place a bet on him winning that before long. I must confess to feeling a certain ambivalence about this state of affairs. When I began writing on Roth in 1990 (as part of my doctoral

in Philip Roth
Stephen Cheeke

whitewashed. This would be a portrait gallery in which the possibility of misidentification had ceased, because the possibility of description was over. Notes   1 For a good summary of the history of the Cenci, and of the portrait’s reputation and provenance theories, see Louise K. Barnett, ‘American Novelists and the “Portrait of Beatrice Cenci”’, New England Quarterly, 53 (1980), 168–83. For most of the nineteenth century, the portrait was, in the words of Stuart Curran, ‘one of the most The face of Beatrice Cenci141 famous attractions of Rome; reproduced

in Ekphrastic encounters
Bruce Woodcock

Furphy’s Such Is Life (1944) and an oral-narrative tradition represented by American novelist Thomas Berger’s Little Big Man (1964). 55 John Hanrahan found the novel ‘consistently entertaining’ and ‘a lot of fun’ but felt disappointed because ‘Carey loses his way in the second half’. Carey’s characters ‘evaporate’ and the well-observed details of situation disintegrate as they ‘crash into a concrete wall of symbolism’. Nevertheless, Hanrahan applauded Carey for having ‘an eye and an ear that gets scenes just right’, testifying from the personal experience of the

in Peter Carey
Angus Brown

this hard work peeks out in a quotation Hollinghurst lifts from the American novelist Carl Van Vechten: ‘Almost all of Firbank is quaint reading and enough to make your hair, even pubic hair, stand on end when you understand it.’19 The knowing slant of this camp dictum captures the indirect eroticism of Hollinghurst’s reading. The inguinal innuendo of ‘quaint reading’ and, of course, those tingling pubic hairs embody the incriminating hilarity of reading Firbank – what Hollinghurst would call, in the title of a 2006 Northcliffe lecture, his ‘Delightful Difficulty

in Alan Hollinghurst