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This is a comprehensive and definitive study of the Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Howard Jacobson. It offers lucid, detailed and nuanced readings of each of Jacobson’s novels, and makes a powerful case for the importance of his work in the landscape of contemporary fiction. Focusing on the themes of comedy, masculinity and Jewishness, the book emphasises the richness and diversity of Jacobson’s work. Often described by others as ‘the English Philip Roth’ and by himself as ‘the Jewish Jane Austen’, Jacobson emerges here as a complex and often contradictory figure: a fearless novelist; a combative public intellectual; a polemical journalist; an unapologetic elitist and an irreverent outsider; an exuberant iconoclast and a sombre satirist. Never afraid of controversy, Jacobson tends to polarise readers; but, love him or hate him, he is difficult to ignore. This book gives him the thorough consideration and the balanced evaluation that he deserves.

Contemporary British voices

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.

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Room for more: the future for Maturin research
Christina Morin

possessed by Maturin’s ghost. In a similar fashion, twentieth- and twenty-first-century literature reveals Maturin’s haunting presence, even in a period in which Maturin appears to be all but forgotten. Arguing against Jarlath Killeen’s suggestion that the Irish Gothic mode today awaits ‘a dramatic and truly terrifying revival’, 39 Richard Haslam instead contends instead that ‘[the] Irish Gothic walks amongst us still’. 40 Tellingly, the

in Charles Robert Maturin and the haunting of Irish Romantic fiction
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Freud’s Copernican revolution
Jeremy Tambling

twentieth- or twenty-first-century literature; every critic and theorist who has engaged with this has found it necessary to discuss the place of Freud, but not denying his importance: Adorno, Benjamin, Bakhtin, Marcuse, Fanon, Althusser, Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, Luce Irigaray, or Hannah Arendt, or Žižek. Only Heidegger stood aloof (Derrida, 1987: 357). No approach to theory can fail to engage with Freud

in Literature and psychoanalysis
Russell J. A. Kilbourn

said in terms of its significance for his work and for late twentieth and early twenty-first-century literature generally.39 Where, in an early essay I emphasized Sebald’s subtle incorporation of filmic allusions as part of his poetics of memory as an ‘exteriorized, visually constituted phenomenon’ (Kilbourn 2004: 140),40 Frey focuses on Sebald’s ‘blurred notion of genre and intellectually rigorous inventory of quotation’ (Patt 2007: 232). Moreover, what Frey calls Sebald’s literary technique of ‘montage’, in direct analogy with cinematic montage, ‘unleashes pent

in A literature of restitution