Angela Carter‘s Exposure of Flesh-Inscribed Stereotypes
The human body is a crucial site for the inscription of cultural paradigms: how people are perceived controls the way they are treated. Postmodernist writers have shown sexual roles, racial inequalities and other forms of discrimination to be parts of a process of reductio ad absurdum, consisting of the identification of the individual‘s social functions with their anatomical features as well as with the habitual marking of their bodies. This article examines Angela Carter‘s The Infernal Desire Machines of Doctor Hoffman where Carter‘s refusal of established body politics is most clearly dramatised. This novel exposes the dreary consequences of power/weakness relations, together with its contradictory exploitation of Gothic devices, making it an esssential testimony to Carter‘s postmodernist reconfiguration of worldviews and narrative modes.
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.
Things are becoming less and less impossible. ( Collected Stories , 60)
C HARACTERISING Carey’s stories takes us to the heart of his fictional practice. Most adopt a mixture of narrativemodes, a central feature of his writing. They contain elements of science fiction, fantasy, fable and satire. Like much science fiction, many are explorations of ideas and possibilities, experiments in subversive thinking or ‘cognitive estrangement’. 1 Carey has described them as ‘a collection of “what if” stories’, 2 which
Easter 1916 and the advent of post-Catholic Ireland
’Neill’s At Swim, Two Boys (2001).
Both novels excavate feminist and queer discourses that have been
hidden behind the façade of Ireland’s conservative national narrative by imagining such narratives at the time of the Easter Rising.
Reading both novels through the lens of spectrality – a narrativemode that conflates temporalities, events, or peoples – and in the
context of Ireland’s waning conservatism at the end of the twentieth
century, offers us a clearer notion of how both texts reconsider the
William Trevor is one of the most accomplished and celebrated contemporary prose writers in the English language. This book offers a comprehensive examination of the oeuvre of one of the most accomplished and celebrated practitioners writing in the English language. Trevor is very interested in popular literature and how certain genres run through people's lives like tunes or family memories. His characters are often 'turned in on themselves', strange, extreme, at odds with the world. The various betrayals, manipulations and acts of cruelty that constitute the representative events of The Old Boys are typical of Trevor's England. The book also explores the ways in which Trevor's liberal humanist premises condition his response to issues of historical consciousness, ideological commitment and political violence. Trevor's short story, 'Lost Ground', from After Rain, conforms to Aristotle's vision of tragedy because it depicts a truly horrendous situation inside a family in Northern Ireland. Notable screen fictions illustrating long-term migrant themes include Attracta, Beyond the Pale and Fools of Fortune. Trevor's short story 'The Ballroom of Romance' evokes memories of dancehall days, partly explains this public appeal, which was enhanced by the BAFTA award-winning film adaptation of the story by Pat O'Connor. Love and Summer is a lyrical, evocative story of the emotional turbulence based on a critical variety of nostalgia that recognises both the stifling limitations of a small-town environment and the crucial connection between ethics and place.
The Gothic is haunted by the ghost of William Blake. Scholars of the Gothic have long recognised Blake’s affinity with the genre, often invoking his name, characters, and images in passing. Yet, to date, no major scholarly study focused on Blake’s intersection with the Gothic exists. William Blake’s gothic imagination seeks to redress this disconnect and, in the words of another ghost, to lend a serious hearing to a dimension of Blake’s work we all somehow know to be vital and yet remains understudied. The essays here collected do not simply identify Blake’s Gothic conventions but, thanks to recent scholarship on affect, psychology, and embodiment in Gothic studies, reach deeper into the tissue of anxieties that take confused form through this notoriously nebulous historical, aesthetic, and narrative mode. The collection opens with papers touching on literary form, history, lineation, and narrative in Blake’s work, establishing contact with major topics in Gothic studies. The volume, however, eventually narrows its focus to Blake’s bloody, nervous bodies, through which he explores various kinds of Gothic horror related to reproduction, anatomy, sexuality, affect, and materiality. Rather than his transcendent images, this collection attends to Blake’s ‘dark visions of torment’. Drawing on the recent interest in Gothic studies on visual arts, this volume also highlights Blake’s engravings and paintings, productions that in both style and content suggest a rich, underexplored archive of Gothic invention. This collection will appeal to students of Romanticism, the Gothic, art history, media/mediation studies, popular mythography, and adaptation studies.
This chapter provides a new account of identity and practices of agents in the context of post-conflict peacebuilding. It investigates how place, habitus, and fields of interaction alongside the performative roles shape the identity of agents and their socialization in practice. To explore the relation between the agents’ presence and their impact on peacebuilding, this paper bypasses the exclusionary dichotomies between local/international and liberal/indigenous agents, and develops a typology of six types of agents horizontally arranged around their insideness and outsideness towards a particular conflict-affected place. Using human geography and critical hermeneutics, this paper categorises ‘agents of peace’ in six different types: existential insiders, subjective insiders, empathetic insiders, behavioural insiders, objective outsiders, and existential outsiders. The core argument of this article is that the differentiation of agents around the geographical and performance towards a particular place facilitates the exploration of pluralist forms of agency and a more nuanced understanding of dynamics in post-conflict societies. An expanded and plural view of agents captures better the fields of interaction and hybridization, agential knowledge and narratives, modes of governance, and various everyday practices that enable or inhibit sustainable peace.
(let's call it) a narrativemode .
BioWare, for instance, has published well-known and popular games of this sort – most particularly the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series. If we wish to include these BioWare games among games more generally (we most normally do), then it is not enough to point to other games ( Tetris (Pajitnov, 1984) has often been pointed to) that are not conventionally designed, marketed, and played in a narrativemode. It is enough to say that, according to examples on hand, in practical circumstances of concern to commercial game
cinematographers, Guillermo Navarro, Rodrigo Prieto, and
Emmanuel Lubezki. In this book I have demonstrated each director’s
style and approach in the films. Thus, I have explored del Toro’s visual
motifs and thematic tropes, and the rich treasure chest of cultural
references with which he fills his filmic world. I have examined
Iñárritu’s particular take on the human condition, told through his
interpretation of contemporary narrativemodes associated with intensified continuity. I have traced Cuarón’s evolution from a director
seeking to cultivate his own look through a rich
coupling of The Woman Warrior and The Joy Luck Club in critical discourse also rests upon the perceived similarity of narrative perspective upon issues of inter-cultural (mis)understanding. This obscures a real difference in narrative approach and complexity though; what has been characterised elsewhere as The Woman Warrior ’s sophisticated ‘interrogative modality’ versus The Joy Luck Club ’s ‘declarative’, epistemologically less problematic, narrativemode. In fact, it is the formal complexity of The Woman Warrior , and the challenges it poses as a studied text