Modern 

Fiction Studies

MFS Modern Fiction Studies
Volume 50, Number 2, Summer 2004
General Issue

CONTENTS

Articles

    Olster, Stacey Michele.
  • A "Patch of England, at a three-thousand-Mile Off-set"? Representing America in Mason & Dixon
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pynchon, Thomas. Mason & Dixon.
    • United States -- In literature.
    Abstract:
      Mason & Dixon's examination of America's origins is informed by a dual temporal perspective: that of the late eighteenth century during which the modern nation-state was conceived and the late twentieth century in which a globalized economy and rise of huge conglomerates have led critics to proclaim the era of the nation-state as over. With New World slavery jettisoning all notions of American exceptionalism, colonial faction preventing national consolidation, and the very shape of the earth making the actuality of America impossible to determine with any fixity, establishing what is American becomes an act of representation. Pynchon portrays that act as less a function of politics, as the colonists demanded, and more a question of aesthetics, as the pictorial mapping in which his surveyors engage illustrates.
    Brigham, Ann.
  • Productions of Geographic Scale and Capitalist-Colonialist Enterprise in Leslie Marmon Silko's Almanac of the Dead
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    Subject Headings:
    • Silko, Leslie, 1948- Almanac of the dead.
    • Geography in literature.
    Abstract:
      This essay focuses on conceptualizations of space in Leslie Marmon Silko's novel Almanac of the Dead. Specifically, it seeks to understand how constructions of geographic scale contribute to both the survival and overthrow of colonialist-capitalism. In its critique of colonialist-capitalist enterprise, the novel elucidates how scale operates as a mechanism for place-making, profit-making, and identity-making, processes linked to economic globalization and social reproduction. In addition, other stories manipulate and/or resist conceptions of scale. Through these stories, the novel re-envisions the idea of scale with a Native American conceptualization of space and narrative modeled on expansiveness rather than expansion.
    Boulter, Jonathan, 1967-
  • Does Mourning Require a Subject? Samuel Beckett's Texts for Nothing
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    Subject Headings:
    • Beckett, Samuel, 1906- Textes pour rien.
    Abstract:
      This article explores the viability of the tropes of trauma and mourning in Samuel Beckett's Texts for Nothing. Beckett's work decomposes the initial premise of trauma and mourning: the idea of the subject within history. Texts for Nothing places the narrator in a timeless space, a space beyond history. Mourning presupposes a subject within history, a subject able to contain his or her trauma within a narrative, historical, frame. Because Texts for Nothing offers itself as a dismantling of narrative, these thirteen texts function as a critique of mourning and as a critique of the very idea of trauma.
    Goble, Mark.
  • Delirious Henry James: A Small Boy and New York
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    Subject Headings:
    • James, Henry, 1843-1916. Small boy and others.
    • City and town life -- New York (State) -- New York.
    Abstract:
      Focusing on James's account of New York in the 1850s from A Small Boy and Others, this essay argues that, despite his clear antipathy toward the "modern" New York he describes in The American Scene, his own memories of an "old" New York involve a much more varied and pleasurable response to the city itself. Indeed, James's nostalgia for the city of his childhood reflects a prior modernity marked everywhere by media (dioramas, panoramas, posters) and spectacle (melodramas, theatrical displays, the Barnum Museum)—a modernity whose "visibility," for James, has been "smothered" but not lost.
    Waligora-Davis, Nicole, 1973-
  • Riotous Discontent: Ralph Ellison's "Birth of a Nation"
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ellison, Ralph. Invisible man.
    • Ellison, Ralph -- Political and social views.
    • African Americans -- Social conditions -- 20th century.
    • Nationalism in literature.
    Abstract:
      Through a reading of his fictional account of the Harlem race riot of 1943 that serves as the closing scenes of Invisible Man, this essay delineates Ellison's racial philosophy, a rubric as much an expression of black nationalism as it is the formation of an ethical system for human interaction and accountability. It is a reading, though, that necessarily traces Ellison's racially gendered critique of the State and its domestic colonial practices, and the (unevenly) shared psychological consequences of American racial violence on the public sphere. And, in its end, this essay maps the connection Ellison makes between racial injury and the possibility of black patriotism.
    Fowler, Doreen.
  • Faulkner's Return to the Freudian Father: Sanctuary Reconsidered
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    Subject Headings:
    • Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Sanctuary.
    • Freud, Sigmund, 1856-1939.
    • Lacan, Jacques, 1901-
    • Oedipus complex.
    Abstract:
      Faulkner's Sanctuary compulsively revisits and refashions a centerpiece of Freudian thought, the primal scene, an image out of the unconscious mind for the origin of identity and the cultural order. As construed by Freud, the primal scene becomes a dramatization of his theory of male identity-formation in castration anxiety; that is, the primal scene poses the castration threat that causes the boy to turn away from his mother and subordinate himself to his father. Faulkner's inscriptions of the primal scene dismantle Freud's image of the invincible father and reveal that a model of identity-formation based in repression is its own undoing.
    Almond, Ian, 1969-
  • Borges the Post-Orientalist: Images of Islam from the Edge of the West
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    Subject Headings:
    • Borges, Jorge Luis, 1899- -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Borges, Jorge Luis, 1899- -- Knowledge -- Islam.
    • Islam in literature.
    Abstract:
      This article simply examines the representation of the Islamic Orient in the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges, and suggests two things: 1) that Borges's different representations of Islam in his texts—Arab philosophers, Persian myths, Sufi motifs, quotations from the Koran—are best understood by a different set of Orientalist voices that Borges employs, from context to context, to best communicate his Oriental content and 2) that Borges's stories, understood in a chronological sequence, ultimately demonstrate an awareness of the artificial nature of his Orient—and a gradual disillusionment with the whole idea of representing Islam.

Review Essays

    Tatum, Stephen, 1949-
  • Postfrontier Horizons
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    Subject Headings:
    • Handley, William R. Marriage, violence, and the nation in the American literary West.
    • Johnson, Michael K. (Michael Kyle), 1963- Black masculinity and the frontier myth in American literature.
    • American literature -- West (U.S.) -- History and criticism.
    • American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism.
    Abstract:
      The books under review here study how certain Anglo-European and African-American writers in the twentieth century have appropriated and revised the narrative patterns and symbols associated with the dominant cultural imaginary of the American frontier and West. Instead of regeneration through violence, scenes of alienated domesticity and violence in western literary marriages from Wister through Didion, William Handley argues, represent "the degenerative sign of a failed project of national union and identity" (231). Michael Johnson shows how a range of African-American male and female writers interweave, adapt and revise both EuroAmerican (frontier narrative) and African-American (slave narrative) literary forms to explore themes of racial freedom and oppression and the construction of masculine identity. Both books exemplify the newer field imaginary of western American literary studies emerging during the past few years.
    Mermann-Jozwiak, Elisabeth.
  • Cartographies of Resistance: Poetics and Politics of Space in Chicano/a Writing
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    Subject Headings:
    • Brady, Mary Pat, 1961- Extinct lands, temporal geographies: Chicana literature and the urgency of space.
    • Kaup, Monika. Rewriting North American borders in Chicano and Chicana narrative.
    • American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism.
    • American prose literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism.
    Abstract:
      This review essay of Mary Pat Brady's Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies: Chicana Literature and the Urgency of Space, and Monika Kaup's Rewriting North American Borders in Chicano and Chicana Narrative places these recent publications within a context of works that focus on spatial politics in Chicano/a Studies. It pays particular attention to the authors' methodologies.

Book Reviews

Americas

    Schneider, Ryan.
  • Beyond the Color Line and the Iron Curtain: Reading Encounters Between Black and Red, 1922-1963 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Baldwin, Kate A. Beyond the color line and the Iron Curtain: reading encounters between Black and Red, 1922-1963.
    • African Americans -- Intellectual life -- 20th century.
    Stephens, Michelle.
  • Black Nationalism in the New World: Reading the African-American and West Indian Experience (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Carr, Robert, 1963- Black nationalism in the new world: reading the African-American and West Indian experience.
    • Black nationalism -- United States.
    Rankine, Patrice D.
  • Spiritual, Blues, and Jazz People in African American Fiction: Living in Paradox (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jimoh, A. Yemisi, 1957- Spiritual, blues, and jazz people in African American fiction: living in paradox.
    • American fiction -- African American authors -- History and criticism.
    Heinze, Celeste.
  • Working the Garden: American Writers and the Industrialization of Agriculture (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Conlogue, William. Working the garden: American writers and the industrialization of agriculture.
    • American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Urgo, Joseph R.
  • Memorial Fictions: Willa Cather and the First World War (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Trout, Steven, 1963- Memorial fictions: Willa Cather and the First World War.
    • Cather, Willa, 1873-1947 -- Views on war.
    Green, Jeremy.
  • The Avant-Garde and American Postmodernity: Small Incisive Shocks (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Nel, Philip, 1969- Avant-garde and American postmodernity: small incisive shocks.
    • American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Bonca, Cornel.
  • The Visionary Moment: A Postmodern Critique (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Maltby, Paul. Visionary moment: a postmodern critique.
    • American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    LaLonde, Christopher A.
  • Red Matters: Native American Studies (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Krupat, Arnold. Red matters: Native American studies.
    • Indian literature -- United States -- History and criticism.
    Chanady, Amaryll Beatrice, 1954-
  • Mestizo Nations: Culture, Race and Conformity in Latin American Literature (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Castro, Juan E. De, 1959- Mestizo nations: culture, race and conformity in Latin American literature.
    • Latin American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Brescia, Pablo.
  • The Ends of Literature: The Latin American "Boom" in the Neoliberal Marketplace (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Levinson, Brett, 1959- Ends of literature: the Latin American "boom" in the neoliberal marketplace.
    • Spanish American literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Szurmuk, Mónica.
  • Books and Bombs in Buenos Aires: Borges, Gerchunoff, and Argentine-Jewish Writing (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Aizenberg, Edna. Books and bombs in Buenos Aires: Borges, Gerchunoff, and Argentine-Jewish writing.
    • Argentine literature -- Jewish authors -- History and criticism.

Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe

    Scanlan, Margaret, 1944-
  • Romances of the Archive in Contemporary British Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Keen, Suzanne. Romances of the archive in contemporary British fiction.
    • English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Paproth, Matthew Walker.
  • Joycean Temporalities: Debts, Promises, and Countersignatures (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Thwaites, Tony. Joycean temporalities: debts, promises, and countersignatures.
    • Joyce, James, 1882-1941 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    O'Toole, Tina.
  • The Irish Novel at the End of the Twentieth Century: Gender, Bodies and Power (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Jeffers, Jennifer M. Irish novel at the end of the twentieth century: gender, bodies and power.
    • English fiction -- Irish authors -- History and criticism.
    Mukherjee, Meenakshi.
  • In Another Country: Colonialism, Culture, and the English Novel in India (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Joshi, Priya. In another country: colonialism, culture, and the English novel in India.
    • Indic fiction (English) -- History and criticism.
    Wetsel, David, 1949-
  • HIV Stories: The Archaeology of AIDS Writing in France, 1985-1988 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Boulé, Jean-Pierre. HIV stories: the archaeology of AIDS writing in France, 1985-1988.
    • French literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.

Theory and Cultural Studies

    Kunka, Andrew J.
  • The Peculiar Sanity of War: Hysteria in the Literature of World War I (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kingsbury, Celia Malone. Peculiar sanity of war: hysteria in the literature of World War I.
    • English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Rado, Lisa.
  • Women's Experience of Modernity 1875-1945 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Lewis, Leslie W., 1960-, ed. Women's experience of modernity 1875-1945.
    • Ardis, Ann L., 1957-, ed.
    • American literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
    Belluscio, Steven J.
  • Ethnic Modernisms: Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Rhys, and the Aesthetics of Dislocation (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Konzett, Delia Caparoso. Ethnic modernisms: Anzia Yezierska, Zora Neale Hurston, Jean Rhys, and the aesthetics of dislocation.
    • American literature -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
    Roy, Parama.
  • Textual Traffic: Colonialism, Modernity, and the Economy of the Text (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Shankar, Subramanian, 1962- Textual traffic: colonialism, modernity, and the economy of the text.
    • Travelers' writings, American -- History and criticism.
    Doane, Janice L.
  • Trauma and Survival in Contemporary Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Vickroy, Laurie, 1954- Trauma and survival in contemporary fiction.
    • American fiction -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
    Michael, Magali Cornier.
  • Sublime Desire: History and Post-1960s Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Elias, Amy J., 1961- Sublime desire: history and post-1960s fiction.
    • Historical fiction -- History and criticism.
    Stacks, Geoffrey.
  • Cartographic Fictions: Maps, Race, and Identity (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Piper, Karen Lynnea, 1965- Cartographic fictions: maps, race, and identity.
    • Cartography -- Social aspects.

World Literatures

    McNee, Lisa.
  • Artificial Africas: Colonial Images in the Times of Globalization (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Mayer, Ruth. Artificial Africas: colonial images in the times of globalization.
    • Africa in popular culture -- United States.
    Tempest, Richard, 1956-
  • Return from the Archipelago: Narratives of Gulag Survivors (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Toker, Leona. Return from the Archipelago: narratives of Gulag survivors.
    • Russian literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Cooke, Brett.
  • Dystopian Fiction East and West: Universe of Terror and Trial (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gottlieb, Erika. Dystopian fiction east and west: universe of terror and trial.
    • Fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.

Contributors

Index




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