Search results

Abstract only
Author: Dominic Head

In this survey, Ian McEwan emerges as one of those rare writers whose works have received both popular and critical acclaim. His novels grace the bestseller lists, and he is well regarded by critics, both as a stylist and as a serious thinker about the function and capacities of narrative fiction. McEwan's novels treat issues that are central to our times: politics, and the promotion of vested interests; male violence and the problem of gender relations; science and the limits of rationality; nature and ecology; love and innocence; and the quest for an ethical worldview. Yet he is also an economical stylist: McEwan's readers are called upon to attend, not just to the grand themes, but also to the precision of his spare writing. Although McEwan's later works are more overtly political, more humane, and more ostentatiously literary than the early work, this book uncovers the continuity as well as the sense of evolution through the oeuvre. It makes the case for McEwan's prominence—pre-eminence, even—in the canon of contemporary British novelists.

Cultural misappropriation and the construction of the Gothic
Terry Hale

is a convenient starting point for analyses of this kind, lists dozens of texts by authors such as Eugène Sue and Frédéric Soulié. In the cultural marketplace of the mid-nineteenth century, French translations squeezed out English translations just as in the present marketplace British and American works tend to dominate international bestseller lists. Elsewhere, a similar pattern of French cultural

in European Gothic
Abstract only
Queer theory, literature and the politics of sameness
Author: Ben Nichols

In its contributions to the study of material social differences, queer theoretical writing has mostly assumed that any ideas which embody 'difference' are valuable. More than this, where it is invoked in contemporary theory, queerness is often imagined as synonymous with difference itself. This book uncovers an alternative history in queer cultural representation. Through engagement with works from a range of queer literary genres from across the long twentieth century – fin-de-siècle aestheticism, feminist speculative fiction, lesbian middle-brow writing, and the tradition of the stud file – the book elucidates a number of formal and thematic attachments to ideas that have been denigrated in queer theory for their embodiment of sameness: uselessness, normativity, reproduction and reductionism. Exploring attachments to these ideas in queer culture is also the occasion for a broader theoretical intervention: Same Old suggests, counterintuitively, that the aversion they inspire may be of a piece with how homosexuality has been denigrated in the modern West as a misguided orientation towards sameness. Combining queer cultural and literary history, sensitive close readings and detailed genealogies of theoretical concepts, Same Old encourages a fundamental rethinking of some of the defining positions in queer thought.

Abstract only
Claire Hines

opened the first Playboy clubs. Having become a household name in 1950s Britain, James Bond’s fame and reputation grew further in the period between the late 1950s and the early 1960s: Fleming’s Bond novels made it on to the bestseller lists, and the Bond character was successfully brought to the big screen. Tony Bennett and Janet Woollacott observe that between the end of the 1950s and the mid-1960s, James Bond changed from being ‘virtually unknown outside Britain’ to become an international icon.1 Certainly, the many appearances that Bond made in Playboy were an

in The playboy and James Bond
The Obelisk at Koregaon
Shraddha Kumbhojkar

. During the 1970s the western Indian state of Maharashtra witnessed a spate of popular (a)historical novels topping the bestseller lists in Marathi. Many of them dominate the historical understanding and perceptions of the Marathi-speaking middle classes even today. Two important novels from this genre, both authored by Brahmins, describe the battle of Koregaon in passing

in Sites of imperial memory
Lisa Lewis

becomes a nationalist,31 or the Booker Prize winner Arundhati Roy, whose novel The God of Small Things32 stayed at the top of the bestseller lists for over a year? In an interview, Roy once named the three books that mattered most to her as ‘Ulysses, The Jungle Book and Lolita’;33 and the lone Indian mother in her novel expresses her love for her children by reading them the Mowgli stories, which they quote delightedly to one another. Why, when I listened to the tapes of Madhav Sharma reading Kim, Mowgli and Purun Bhagat, did I hear in his voice such relish and

in In Time’s eye
Abstract only
Richard Marsh and late Victorian journalism
Nick Freeman

as Guy N. Smith (b. 1939) who wrote three or four 40,000– 60,000-word paperback novels a year during the 1970s and established significant numbers of loyal fans without ever troubling the bestseller lists or the reviewers of the Times Literary Supplement. Astonished by the prolific output of Arthur Symons, who supplied the letterpress for an entire edition of the Savoy in December 1896, Oscar Wilde wondered if he was not an actual writer but a syndicate. Anyone noting the dates and word counts in Minna Vuohelainen’s invaluable guide to Marsh’s fiction could be

in Richard Marsh, popular fiction and literary culture, 1890–1915
An introduction to the book
Sean Campbell and Colin Coulter

appear in the realm of other, rather less fashionable but infinitely more popular, literary forms. The spring of 2008 saw the latest publication by the hugely popular Irish novelist Marian Keyes. While Keyes ordinarily deals in a romantic genre often sniffily dismissed as ‘chick lit’, this latest slice of fiction sees her delve into the rather darker territory of domestic violence. The novel is also noteworthy because of its resonant and deliberate choice of title.18 As we write, in 2009, This Charming Man sits aloft the bestseller lists on both sides of the Irish Sea

in Why pamper life's complexities?
The historian’s dilemmas in a time of health-care reform
Beatrix Hoffman

popular history. As the lament goes, academic historians write for a narrow, specialized audience of other academics, while popularizers regularly appear on bestseller lists. Although some professional historians continue to show disdain for popular history writers, 23 for many the ‘cross­over’ book – a publication based on rigorous academic research, but reaching a wider audience – has

in Communicating the history of medicine
The popular novel in France
Diana Holmes

. French bestseller lists for the first decade of the twenty-first century demonstrate the popularity of the life-writing genre (from the memoirs of Jacques Chirac to those of reality TV stars) and, within the category of fiction, of bandes dessinées or comic books,1 as well as translated international blockbusters (The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter, the Twilight vampire series, Stieg Laarson’s thrillers). However, they also show the continuing appeal of the indigenous novel. In France, well-publicised annual literary prizes regularly produce the ‘cross-over’ phenomenon

in Imagining the popular in contemporary French culture