Abstract

This article draws upon photographic and narrative theories. Through close textual reading, I decode British Booker Prize–winning Penelope Lively’s novel Family Album (2009) as a montage of verbal snapshots framing two generations of family life through the culturally institutionalized familial gaze—as seen through the “camera-eye.” Benjamin’s “unconscious optics” uncover Family Album as a narrative of generational resistance and disquiet irreducible to myths of family depicted in the “album’s” iconic images. I argue that this novel marks a significant development in Lively’s creative imagination, and narrative structure more widely, in its ability to materialize personal memory via the use of verbal images as a narrative device.

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Additional Information

ISSN
2161-427X
Print ISSN
1524-8429
Pages
pp. 366-382
Launched on MUSE
2014-09-11
Open Access
No
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