Modern 

Fiction Studies

MFS Modern Fiction Studies
Volume 50, Number 3, Fall 2004

CONTENTS

Articles

    Annesley, James.
  • Pure Shores: Travel, Consumption, and Alex Garland's The Beach
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    Subject Headings:
    • Garland, Alex, 1970- Beach.
    • Travel in literature.
    • Consumption (Economics) in literature.
    Abstract:
      In its descriptions of a quest for an idyllic Thai lagoon, The Beach creates a romantic portrait of a space seemingly untouched by the homogenizing effects of consumption. As the novel develops, however, it becomes increasingly clear that this escapist dream is unsustainable. Starting with the recognition that Garland's characters find themselves reproducing the world they intended to leave behind, this essay considers the implications The Beach raises for the analysis of relationships between consumerism and escapism, and reflects upon the critical possibilities generated by the novel's representation of globalization.
    Winkiel, Laura A.
  • Suffrage Burlesque: Modernist Performance in Elizabeth Robins's The Convert
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    Subject Headings:
    • Robins, Elizabeth, 1862-1952. Convert.
    • Women's rights -- Great Britain.
    • Women's rights in literature.
    Abstract:
      This essay examines how Elizabeth Robins borrowed from the theater to fashion new forms of modern identities for women. Robins combines melodramatic and burlesque performance genres in ways that alter the conventions of realist narrative and prefigure the cosmopolitan, fluid subjectivities of high modernism. Ranging from anti- and pro-British women's suffrage rhetoric to emergent forms of leisure activities and crowd theories, this essay contextualizes the problems, fears, and advantages of cross-class identifications. While Robins ultimately contains these sexualized, working-class energies, she nonetheless documents a powerful critique of middle-class forms of subjectivity and knowledge that imagines a leveling of class hierarchies.
    Crowell, Ellen.
  • The Picture of Charles Bon: Oscar Wilde's Trip through Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha
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    Subject Headings:
    • Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Absalom, Absalom!
    • Wilde, Oscar, 1854-1900. Picture of Dorian Gray.
    • Dandyism in literature.
    Abstract:
      In this essay, I argue that Oscar Wilde's trip through the "ruined" South reinforced his nascent preoccupation with the relationship between beauty and decay, a preoccupation that informed his most iconic creation, Dorian Gray: the beautiful aristocrat in whom physical decline and Aestheticism merge. I argue that Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) is a novel whose gothicism was in part born of the same aesthetics of ruin as William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! (1936), and demonstrate that in Wildean dandyism (as expressed through both Wilde's self-aestheticization and his prose) Faulkner recognized a model through which to critique the multiple and contradictory performances of Southern aristocracy. By first directly invoking Wilde and then reworking the temptation scene in Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), Faulkner reinterprets dandyism for the South­­casting the dandy as a culturally-perceived monster who registers the threat that miscegenation and deviant sexuality pose to the postbellum South.
    Gilson, Annette.
  • Internalizing Mastery: Jean Rhys, Ford Madox Ford, and the Fiction of Autobiography
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    Subject Headings:
    • Rhys, Jean -- Criticism and interpretation.
    • Ford, Ford Madox, 1873-1939 -- Influence.
    Abstract:
      This essay explores the relationship between Jean Rhys and Ford Madox Ford through the lens of D. W. Winnicott's psychological theories. Specifically, the essay explores the ways in which Rhys turns Ford into a transitional object in her fiction in order to free herself from his dominant role in her life and fiction. The essay also explores the generic complexities of Rhys's negotiation of autobiographical and fictional materials as she attempts to develop and utilize psychological insight about her own dependency on Ford in order to achieve literary freedom for herself.
    Bové, Paul A., 1949-
  • History and Fiction: the Narrative Voices of Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
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    Subject Headings:
    • Pynchon, Thomas. Gravity's rainbow.
    • History in literature.
    Abstract:
      This essay highlights the fact that any reading or teaching of Gravity's Rainbow proceeds from a secure sense of Pynchon's aesthetic relation to history. Based on the argument that Gravity's Rainbow is an historical novel, this essay shows how Pynchon in this novel stages the conflict between elect and preterit, between nature and technology, between historical human agency and grace by embedding its themes within the specificity in Central Europe at the end of World War II.
    Parkin-Gounelas, Ruth, 1950-
  • "What isn't there" in Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin: The Psychoanalysis of Duplicity
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    Subject Headings:
    • Atwood, Margaret Eleanor, 1939- Blind assassin.
    Abstract:
      Atwood's The Blind Assassin has to do with memory as retro- spection, temporality being figured spatio-materially, with the emphasis on vision. In attempting to "fix" time through an obsessive elaboration of material objects, the novel foregrounds the lure and deception of the visual, the way images, like symbols, function, to stand in for what isn't there. Images of duplicity or doubling, encapsulated in the photo of the two often indistinguishable sisters, torn in half, suggest a return to that moment of simultaneous self-identity and self-alienation in the mirror, described by Lacan as a violent "tearing" between self and other, a perpetual (self-)assassination.
    Huggan, Graham, 1958-
  • "Greening" Postcolonialism: Ecocritical Perspectives
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    Subject Headings:
    • Roy, Arundhati. Greater common good.
    • Coetzee, J. M., 1940- Lives of animals.
    • Gowdy, Barbara. White bone.
    • Ecocriticism.
    • Postcolonialism.
    Abstract:
      The essay looks at possible areas of intersection between postcolonial criticism and ecocriticism, two relatively recent critical schools that, despite their obvious differences, share similar concerns with social justice and transformation. Via readings of three recent texts by Arundhati Roy, J. M. Coetzee, and Barbara Gowdy, the essay argues that postcolonial criticism and ecocriticism exist in part as mutual correctives: postcolonial criticism to the culture-blindness of certain strands of ecocriticism, and ecocriticism to the anthropocentric tendencies of postcolonial thought.

Review Essays

    Roberts, Robin, 1957-
  • Gender and Science Fiction
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    Subject Headings:
    • Larbalestier, Justine. Battle of the sexes in science fiction.
    • Attebery, Brian, 1951- Decoding gender in science fiction.
    • Science fiction, American -- History and criticism.
    Abstract:
      Two new critical books that focus on gender and science provide an opportunity to reflect on how far science-fiction criticism has developed in the last decade. Justine Larbalestier's The Battle of Sexes in Science Fiction and Brian Attebury's Decoding Gender in Science Fiction demonstrate a level of sophistication and complexity that reveal it is difficult to discuss science fiction without addressing gender issues. The appearance of these two books suggests the importance and marketability of science-fiction criticism and science fiction itself to redefinitions of modern fiction.

Book Reviews

Americas

    Burrows, Stuart, 1967-
  • Virtual Americas: Transnational Fictions and the Transatlantic Imaginary (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Giles, Paul. Virtual Americas: transnational fictions and the transatlantic imaginary.
    • American literature -- History and criticism.
    Orlando, Emily J.
  • The Figure of Consciousness: William James, Henry James, and Edith Wharton (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Kress, Jill M., 1968- Figure of consciousness: William James, Henry James, and Edith Wharton.
    • Wharton, Edith, 1862-1937 -- Knowledge -- Psychology.
    Scanlan, Margaret, 1944-
  • America's Culture of Terrorism: Violence, Capitalism, and the Written Word (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Clymer, Jeffory A. America's culture of terrorism: violence, capitalism, and the written word.
    • Terrorism -- United States -- History.
    Ramsey, D. Matthew.
  • Games of Property: Law, Race, Gender, and Faulkner's Go Down, Moses (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Davis, Thadious M., 1944- Games of property: law, race, gender, and Faulkner's Go down, Moses.
    • Faulkner, William, 1897-1962. Go down, Moses.
    Babb, Valerie Melissa.
  • The Fugitive Race: Minority Writers Resisting Whiteness (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Knadler, Stephen P., 1963- Fugitive race: minority writers resisting whiteness.
    • American literature -- Minority authors -- History and criticism.
    Kraus, Joe, 1965-
  • Broadway Boogie Woogie: Damon Runyon and the Making of New York City Culture (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Schwarz, Daniel R. Broadway boogie woogie: Damon Runyon and the making of New York City culture.
    • Runyon, Damon, 1880-1946 -- Criticism and interpretation.
    Reich, Paul D.
  • Reading The Virginian in the New West (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Graulich, Melody, 1951-, ed. Reading The Virginian in the new West.
    • Tatum, Stephen, 1949-, ed.
    • Wister, Owen, 1860-1938. Virginian.
    Eaton, Mark.
    Lurie, Peter, 1965-
  • The Late Modernism of Cormac McCarthy (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Holloway, David, 1967- Late modernism of Cormac McCarthy.
    • McCarthy, Cormac, 1933- -- Criticism and interpretation.
    Kaup, Monika.
  • Border Women: Writing from La Frontera (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Castillo, Debra A. Border women: writing from la frontera.
    • Tabuenca Córdoba, María Socorro, 1955-
    • American literature -- Mexican American authors -- History and criticism.
    Ruppert, James, 1947-
  • The Invention of Native American Literature (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Parker, Robert Dale, 1953- Invention of Native American literature.
    • American literature -- Indian authors -- History and criticism.
    Robinson, Sally, 1959-
  • Male Sexuality under Surveillance: The Office in American Literature (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Thompson, Graham, 1965- Male sexuality under surveillance: the office in American literature.
    • American fiction -- History and criticism.
    Ongiri, Amy Abugo.
  • James Baldwin's Later Fiction: Witness to the Journey (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Scott, Lynn Orilla, 1950- James Baldwin's later fiction: witness to the journey.
    • Baldwin, James, 1924- -- Criticism and interpretation.
    Wilentz, Gay Alden, 1950-
  • Bodies in a Broken World: Women Novelists of Color and the Politics of Medicine (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Stanford, Ann Folwell. Bodies in a broken world: women novelists of color and the politics of medicine.
    • American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Nielsen, Aldon Lynn.
  • Signs and Cities: Black Literary Postmodernism (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Dubey, Madhu. Signs and cities: Black literary postmodernism.
    • American literature -- African American authors -- History and criticism.
    Olster, Stacey Michele.
  • Narrative Innovation and Cultural Rewriting in the Cold War Era and After (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cornis-Pope, Marcel. Narrative innovation and cultural rewriting in the Cold War era and after.
    • American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Bacchilega, Cristina, 1955-
  • Margaret Atwood's Textual Assassinations: Recent Poetry and Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Wilson, Sharon Rose, ed. Margaret Atwood's textual assassinations: recent poetry and fiction.
    • Atwood, Margaret Eleanor, 1939- -- Criticism and interpretation.

Britain, Ireland, and Continental Europe

    McIntyre, John.
  • Modernism, Male Friendship, and the First World War (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Cole, Sarah. Modernism, male friendship, and the First World War.
    • English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Fernald, Anne E.
  • Modernism and Cultural Conflict, 1880-1922 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Ardis, Ann L., 1957- Modernism and cultural conflict, 1880-1922.
    • English literature -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
    Joshi, Priya.
  • Dissenters and Mavericks: Writings about India in English, 1765-2000 (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Sabin, Margery, 1940- Dissenters and mavericks: writings about India in English, 1765-2000.
    • English literature -- History and criticism.

Theory and Cultural Studies

    MacEwen, Sally.
  • Reclaiming Klytemnestra: Revenge or Reconciliation (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Komar, Kathleen L. Reclaiming Klytemnestra: revenge or reconciliation.
    • Clytemnestra (Greek mythology) in literature.
    Martinson, Deborah, 1946-
  • Literary Liaisons: Auto/biographical Appropriations in Modernist Women's Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Felber, Lynette, 1951- Literary liaisons: auto/biographical appropriations in modernist women's fiction.
    • American fiction -- Women authors -- History and criticism.
    Hickman, Miranda B.
  • Marketing Modernism Between the Two World Wars (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Turner, Catherine, 1968- Marketing modernism between the two world wars.
    • Literature publishing -- United States -- History -- 20th century.
    Klein, Kathleen Gregory, 1946-
  • Traces, Codes, and Clues: Reading Race in Crime Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Reddy, Maureen T. Traces, codes, and clues: reading race in crime fiction.
    • Detective and mystery stories, American -- History and criticism.
    Stephens, Michelle.
  • The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Edwards, Brent Hayes. Practice of diaspora: literature, translation, and the rise of Black internationalism.
    • Literature -- Black authors -- History and criticism.
    Kuberski, Philip.
  • The Aesthetics of Chaos: Nonlinear Thinking and Contemporary Criticism (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Gillespie, Michael Patrick. Aesthetics of chaos: nonlinear thinking and contemporary criticism.
    • Criticism -- History -- 20th century.
    Larabee, Mark D.
  • Literature, Disaster, and the Enigma of Power: A Reading of Moby-Dick (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Peretz, Eyal, 1968- Literature, disaster, and the enigma of power: a reading of Moby-Dick.
    • Melville, Herman, 1819-1891. Moby Dick.

World Literatures

    Zimra, Clarisse.
  • Postcolonial Criticism: History, Theory and the Work of Fiction (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Harrison, Nicholas. Postcolonial criticism: history, theory and the work of fiction.
    • Developing countries -- Literatures -- History and criticism.
    Fadda-Conrey, Carol.
  • Constructing Lebanon: A Century of Literary Narratives (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Salem, Elise, 1955- Constructing Lebanon: a century of literary narratives.
    • Nationalism and literature -- Lebanon -- History.
    Hunter, Eva.
  • Sign and Taboo: Perspectives on the Poetic Fiction of Yvonne Vera (review)
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    Subject Headings:
    • Muponde, Robert, ed. Sign and taboo: perspectives on the poetic fiction of Yvonne Vera.
    • Maodzwa-Taruvinga, Mandivavarira, ed.
    • Vera, Yvonne -- Criticism and interpretation.

Contributors




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