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Laughing at Livingstone?
Justin D. Livingstone

inspired by Livingstone, but for the most part they have been passed over without sustained engagement. This absence of analysis is conspicuous, for even while the fictional portrayals appear few in number beside the tens and hundreds of biographical studies, they certainly constitute a significant dimension of Livingstone’s reputation. Indeed the range of his fictive imaginings, in various kinds of

in Livingstone’s ‘Lives’
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Robert H. MacDonald

understand. It was particularly in evidence in the popular fiction of the day, and here, perhaps, it had its most powerful effect of all. Fiction creates its own reality, and tempts the reader to enter an imagined world: if the fictions of History were compelling, pinning Deeds of Glory on real, historical figures, the adventures of invented characters might be yet more seductive, for using the same plot

in The language of empire

Any reader who has ever visited Asia knows that the great bulk of Western-language fiction about Asian cultures turns on stereotypes. This book, a collection of essays, explores the problem of entering Asian societies through Western fiction, since this is the major port of entry for most school children, university students and most adults. In the thirteenth century, serious attempts were made to understand Asian literature for its own sake. Hau Kioou Choaan, a typical Chinese novel, was quite different from the wild and magical pseudo-Oriental tales. European perceptions of the Muslim world are centuries old, originating in medieval Christendom's encounter with Islam in the age of the Crusades. There is explicit and sustained criticism of medieval mores and values in Scott's novels set in the Middle Ages, and this is to be true of much English-language historical fiction of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Even mediocre novels take on momentary importance because of the pervasive power of India. The awesome, remote and inaccessible Himalayas inevitably became for Western writers an idealised setting for novels of magic, romance and high adventure, and for travellers' tales that read like fiction. Chinese fictions flourish in many guises. Most contemporary Hong Kong fiction reinforced corrupt mandarins, barbaric punishments and heathens. Of the novels about Japan published after 1945, two may serve to frame a discussion of Japanese behaviour as it could be observed (or imagined) by prisoners of war: Black Fountains and Three Bamboos.

Contemporary British voices
Author:

This study explores the landscape of contemporary British fiction through detailed analysis of five authors that have emerged to critical prominence in the 21st century. The authors addressed - Ali Smith, Andrew O’Hagan, Tom McCarthy, Sarah Hall, and Jon McGregor – have all established themselves through popular and critical success, but have received significantly less attention than some of their peers. This book does not seek to thrust these authors into a putative canon of 21st century literary writing, but rather to explore through close attention to the resonances, continuities, elisions, and frictions across their works the temper of the contemporary moment as it is expressed by a group of writers. Each is devoted a chapter that analyses their creative output to-date within the frame of their stylistic and thematic development, as well as drawing comparisons across their writing and that of their peers. The intention is never to provide the kind of synoptical overview that a period-study might suggest, instead Twenty-First Century Fiction: Contemporary British Voices seeks to juxtapose critical readings within a constellation of contemporary literary concerns to examine what cultural energies and flows are emerging in the new century. In doing so, it identifies three recurrent areas of concern that might be said to infiltrate our times; these are Materiality, Connectivity, and Authenticity. In many forms and through many articulations, these issues emerge as insistent – if inchoate – questions about how current literary practice is responding to the challenge of the post-millennial world.

Shaping the future in the Cold War
Eva Horn

v 2 v The apocalyptic fiction: shaping the future in the Cold War Eva Horn The twentieth century was under the spell of an apocalyptic vision that was claimed to be both ‘absolutely real’ and ‘quite close’. This vision found its expression in a single image: the nuclear explosion. The radiant flash of light, the mushroom cloud and a destroyed landscape reaching up to the horizon visualised the possibility of the extinction of all mankind, something neither traditional nor modern fantasies of the end of the world had ever pictured in this way. In this sense

in Understanding the imaginary war
The mystery of the city’s smoking gun
Lynne Pearce

3970 Postcolonial Manchester:Layout 1 28/6/13 12:37 Page 110 3 Manchester’s crime fiction: the mystery of the city’s smoking gun Lynne Pearce Greater Manchester is frequently written and spoken about as one of the UK’s top crime hotspots; and many of its districts (Hulme, Moss Side, Wythenshawe, Longsight, Whalley Range) rank high in those league tables used to provide a snapshot of the nation’s most socially and economically deprived areas (Taylor, Evans and Fraser, 1996: 275–9; ).1 It should therefore be no surprize that the fiction genre that has become

in Postcolonial Manchester
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Reality and the page
Gerd Bayer

8 Truth and fiction: reality and the page The relationship between literature and reality takes on a new dimension during the English Restoration. At least some of the changes in the formal and aesthetic strategies used relate directly to the historical events as they played out during the second half of the seventeenth century. At least for the royalists who lived in various forms of exile outside of England, the connection to their geographical, cultural, and political home turf ran for a substantial part through the form of printed material. When Kevin

in Novel horizons
Tamsin Badcoe

the articulation of fiction and truth’. 6 As these explorations suggest, isolated landmasses or worlds in microcosm offer ground-plots on which authors are free to create second natures or golden worlds: worlds improved or oppositional, or where dreams are temporarily inseparable from reality. 7 When placed within such European literary and cartographical contexts, then, the ‘mental space’ of Spenser’s fictions can be reconfigured not only as a category in which representations of geography can be seen to allow, if not rely on, imaginative impositions, but also

in Edmund Spenser and the romance of space
Malcolm Turvey

It is widely argued that engaging with a fiction involves imagining its content. Yet, the concept of the imagination is rarely clarified, and it is often used incorrectly by theorists. A good example, this paper argues, is Gregory Currie‘s simulation theory, and its claim that imagining the content of a fiction consists of simulating ‘the beliefs I would acquire if I took the work I am engaged with for fact rather than fiction’. The paper, following the philosopher Alan R. White, argues instead that imagining consists of thoughts about the possible.

Film Studies
Author:

The gothic has, for two hundred years, played an important role in female culture; and worked early on to feminise established literary forms and has, throughout its history, strongly challenged established notions of femininity. Neo-gothicism reflects the feminine dimensions of the ongoing cultural and literary change: gothic horror addresses 'gendered' problems of everyday life. This book focuses on the narrative and ideological components that shape gothic fictions as feminine forms. It explores the classic texts of two hundred years of gothicism on three levels. The first is their contextualising of the specific cultural-historical situation that they both come from and address. The second is their narrative texture, marked by a complex subjectivity; and third, the inter-textualisation of feminine gothic writing. Alice Munro's Lives of Girls and Women uses gothic contextualising to tell a gothic story of growing up, and Margaret Atwood's Lady Oracle parodically incorporates gothic texture. The gothicism of Aritha van Herk's No Fixed Address relies very much on the Canadian landscape, and points to the intersection of neo-gothicism and Canadian culture. Lynne Tillman's Haunted Houses is a fictional braid of three gothic life stories of girls growing up in contemporary Brooklyn; the 'haunted houses' of the title are their bodies that are not born but becoming women. Dress, a classic feminine gothic sign for both propriety and property, is shown in the postmodern context as thematic enclosure of the body as well as formal enclosure of the story.