Innovative Fictions since 1950

Autumn Term Richard Walsh This module examines an international range of innovative fictions since 1950, considering them both as literary works in their own right and in relation to established conventions of fiction. We shall be asking ourselves how (or if) these texts work as fictions, and what light they shed upon notions of fictional representation, fictive rhetoric and literary competence. In the seminar programme below there are two texts set for each week (I have avoided unmanageably long works like Gravity’s Rainbow, JR, Ratner’s Star or Infinite Jest). The first (in bold) is the primary text and will be the main focus of our discussion; the second is chosen to complement and/or throw into relief certain aspects of the first, to help contextualise our discussion and to resist any suspicion that this is merely an eclectic series of eccentric fictions. Some of these texts are not widely available, and you may need to trawl online secondhand booksellers for your own copies. The editions recommended are the ones I’ll be using, but other editions are acceptable if necessary. The suggested readings for each week should all be available in the library or online. For the purposes of the seminar you are not expected to read them all, but do browse amongst them for any approaches that seem congruent with your own experience of the texts themselves. At the end of the seminar programme I have also given a brief list of other innovative fictions (restricted to one per author), and a bibliography of more general book-length studies. Seminar Programme Week 2—Atrophied Meaning Samuel Beckett. Watt. 1953. London: John Calder, 1976. B. S. Johnson. House Mother Normal. 1971. Newcastle: Bloodaxe, 1984. Suggested readings: Ackerley, Chris. "Samuel Beckett and the Geology of the Imagination: Toward an Excavation of Watt." Journal of Beckett Studies 13, no. 2 (2004): 150-63. Beausang, Michael, and Valérie Galiussi. "Watt: Logic, Insanity, Aphasia." Style 30, no. 3 (1996): 495-513. Benjamin, Shoshana. "What's Watt." Poetics Today 18, no. 3 (1997): 376-96. Cohn, Ruby. "Watt in the Light of the Castle." Comparative Literature 13, no. 2 (1961): 154-66. Culik, Hugh. "The Place of Watt in Beckett's Development." MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 29, no. 1 (1983): 57-71. Hayman, David. "Getting Where? Beckett's Opening Gambit for Watt." Contemporary Literature 43, no. 1 (2002): 28-49. Hesla, David H. "The Shape of Chaos: A Reading of Beckett's Watt." Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction 6, no. 1 (1963): 85-105. Mood, John J. "'the Personal System'—Samuel Beckett's Watt." PMLA: Publications of the Modern Language Association of America 86 (1971): 255-65. Swanson, Eleanor. "Samuel Beckett's Watt: A Coming and a Going." Modern Fiction Studies 17 (1971): 264-68.

"Conflicting Interpretation of Language and Reality in Borges's Narrative. E. no. 2 (1970): 28-38. no. no. Robert Coover. John. L. 1 (2007): 33-49." The Modern Language Review 85. 1969. 2 (2001). Ann M. 1964 (1956-60). New York: New American Library. "Homage to Jorge Luis Borges. no. 1 (1994): 5161. "A Study of the Imagination in Samuel Beckett's Watt. Steven E. and John T. no. Cynthia. 3 (2001): 355-77. 3 (2002): 533-58." Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas 5. Jonathan Stuart." New Literary History: A Journal of Theory and Interpretation 33. 1988. Lost in the Funhouse. Scott A. New York: Doubleday Anchor. Boulter. 4 (2000): 335-47.Trivisonno. Edmond. 1 (1995): 17-33. "The False Artaxerxes: Borges and the Dream of Chess." Representations 56 (1996): 106-22. Chibka. no. Mosher. no. Writing." New Literary History: A Journal of Theory and Interpretation 24. Irwin." Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction 12." New Literary History: A Journal of Theory and Interpretation 21. 1 (1989): 163-73. "Jorge Luis Borges's 'Funes the Memorious': A Philosophical Narrative. "Meaning and Function of the Quest in Beckett's Watt. 1 (2001): 45-57. Suggested readings: Fulmer. "Mirrors of Madness: Paul Auster's the New York Trilogy. 1988. Mark. . Week 4—High Metafiction John Barth." MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 52. James Burton. 1 (1990): 65-76. "The Library of Forking Paths." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 37. Dubnick. Gracia. no. Yves." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 41. "Bodying Forth the Impossible: Metamorphosis. 1970." Hispanic Review 69. Week 3—Narrative Metaphysics Jorge Luis Borges. 2 (1993): 425-44. "Atemporal Labyrinths in Time: J. Bonnefoy. The New York Trilogy. Dimovitz. 1970. Borges and the New Physicist. Mortality. Heather Lisa. 1968. "Partial Glimpses of the Infinite: Borges and the Simulacrum. Paul Auster. Stephens. Labyrinths. "Borges's 'Pierre Menard': Philosophy or Literature?" Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59. no. Jorge J. Wall. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Wright. 1985-7. London: Faber. and Aesthetics in the Works of Jorge Luis Borges. Pricksongs and Descants." Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Literatures 48. no. "Public Personae and the Private I: De-Compositional Ontology in Paul Auster's the New York Trilogy. Naughton. "'First Person Anonymous': Sartrean Ideas of Consciousness in Barth's Lost in the Funhouse. 3 (2006): 613-33. and Culture 3. John T." Enculturation: A Journal for Rhetoric. no. Robert L. no. no. Suggested readings: Alford.

no. 1974. 1977. Warren. 4 (1985): 460-81. 2 (1998): 1. 2008. 2 (2006): 111-25. "Comic Politics and Politics of the Comic: Walter Abish's Alphabetical Africa. See also Christian Bok." Contemporary Literature 26. no. W. and Jean-Jacques Poucel. "Empty 'Text. 1974. "Pereckonings: Reading Georges Perec. "Self-Knowledge and Self-Conception: The Therapy of Autobiography in John Barth's Lost in the Funhouse. "Automatism. Motte. Roubaud. 3 (2006): 43-54." Modern Language Review 97. Anthony. 1 (1986): 63-69." New York Review of Science Fiction 9. http://archives. 2 (1992): 133-44. "Perecquian Oulipo.chbooks. 4 (2006): 729-45. no. Alison. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul. Tavares. L. Gilbert Adair." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 33. London: Vintage.html Suggested readings: Braulis. Martin. no. Kate.Lee. 2 (1997): 151-57. no. "Belated Jewish Modernism in France: Georges Perec's Cult of Memory. "Robert Coover and the Hazards of Metafiction. Warren. no. and the Oulipian Author. 1996. L. Mawhinney. Eunoia." French Forum 31. Schilling. 3 (1974): 210-19. Week 6—reading week Week 7—Fantasy and Fable Donald Barthelme. . Alphabetical Africa. Arbitrariness. Neil. Briggs. "Translation and Lipogram." Paragraph: A Journal of Modern Critical Theory 29. "The Void: From Borges's Being to Perec's Nothingness.' Fecund Voice: Self-Reflexivity in Barth's Lost in the Funhouse. Woolley. Todd. 1989. Deborah A. "Writing under Duress." Studies in Short Fiction 34. Sexing the Cherry. Week 5—Lipogrammatic Fictions Georges Perec. "'Vol Du Bourbon': The Purloined Letter in Perec's La Disparition. Walter Abish. no. Heather. and Jean-Jacques Poucel. Schmitz. Jacques. Derek. James. 7 [103] (1997): 10-10. London: Vintage. Schirato.html?q=archives/online_b ooks/eunoia/text. Motte. 1975. A Void (La Disparition). 1994 (1969). no. no. 1 (2002): 47-58. Jeanette Winterson. "Robert Coover's Moral Vision: Pricksongs & Descants." Yale French Studies 105 (2004): 99-109." American Book Review 19. New York: New Directions." Yale French Studies 105 (2004): 1-179. no. Trans. The Dead Father." Modernism/Modernity 13." Studies in Short Fiction 23." Novel: A Forum on Fiction 7.

131-45. no. no. 1981 (1979). Ottawa: Dovehouse. New York: G. M. K. 147-55. no. Doan." Philosophy and Literature 29. Hall." In Critical Essays on Donald Barthelme. no." In The Lesbian Postmodern. "Parody in the Postmodernist Novel: Se Unanotte D'inverno Un Viaggiatore. 2 (2005): 321-36. Ottawa: Dovehouse. 4 (1991): 705-16. "Father-Murder and Father-Rescue: The Post-Freudian Allegories of Donald Barthelme. 173-84." MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 31. Inge. 3 (2004): 10-23. 1989." Modern Language Studies 27. Teresa. edited by Franco Ricci. 3-4 (1997): 159-73. no. 1994. Visoi. New York: Columbia UP. edited by Richard F." Twentieth Century Literature: A Scholarly and Critical Journal 37. London: Picador. Sorapure. Fink. "On Mrs. NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Carleton. Larry. "The Textual Body: William Gass's Willie Master's Lonesome Wife." Contemporary Literature 34. 138-55. "The Dead Father: Innovative Forms." MFS: Modern Fiction Studies 37. Makinen. Edited by Nicolas Tredell. Patterson. Feinstein. 1982. Reader's Guides to Essential Criticism. "The Art of Metafiction: William Gass's Willie Masters' Lonesome Wife." In Critical Essays on Donald Barthelme. de Lauretis. 185-95. 2 (1986): 182-212. 1 (1976): 21-35. edited by Franco Ricci. no. If on a winter’s night a traveller." In Calvino Revisited. Robert. Kaufmann. 1989 (1968). no. McCaffery. "Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler: Writer's Authority. 2005. Michael. Laura.Suggested readings: Davis. Simpson. 4 (1985): 702-10. 1 (1993): 27-42. . New York: G. New York. "Jeanette Winterson's Sexing the Postmodern. The Novels of Jeanette Winterson. Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife. "Reading the (Post)Modern Text: If on a Winter's Night a Traveller. K. "The Power Behind the Pronoun: Narrative Games in Calvino's If on a Winter's Night. no. Mariolina. Urbana: Dalkey Archive. Merja. "The Doctrinal Core of If on a Winter's Night a Traveller. Zeitlin. "Reinscribing a Dead Author in If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. Richard. Marie-Anne." In Calvino Revisited. Watts." Critique: Studies in Modern Fiction 18. Madeleine. Week 8—The Interpolated Reader Italo Calvino. "Post-Modern Paternity: Donald Barthelme's the Dead Father. 1989. a Traveler. Suggested readings: Coover. 2 (1993): 182-203. Eternal Themes. Michael. Walsh. no. edited by Richard F. Wiley." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 35. Melissa. "Being in the Midst: Italo Calvino's If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. William Gass. 1989. 1992. Patterson. Reader's Autonomy. Hall. 1992. Robert Con. 1 (1991): 93-104. Willie Masters. no." Contemporary Literature 27." Review of Contemporary Fiction 24. edited by Laura Doan. "Participation and Immersion in Walton and Calvino. Salvatori.

"The Problem of Politics in Feminist Literary Criticism: Contending Voices in Two Contemporary Novels. Nicola. 1991. "Black Arts: 1982 Janine and Something Leather." Contemporary Literature 40. Thru. Ryan. "The Quest for Love and the Writing of Female Desire in Kathy Acker's Don Quixote. 4 (1999): 525-51. 1985. and the Freak Reader in Acker's Don Quixote. J. 2007. 2 (1995): 162-69. SC: U of South Carolina P. Coetzee. Naked Lunch. 1986. Don Quixote. Select List of Recommended Texts Martin Amis. Alasdair Gray. Understanding David Foster Wallace. Time’s Arrow. Waiting for the Barbarians. Richard. New York: Farrar. 2003. S. Simmons." In The Arts of Alasdair Gray. 1999. Columbia. Straus and Giroux. "Flogging a Dead Language: Identity Politics. London: Abacus. Trout Fishing in America. 1 (2000). 1967. 1980. Michel Butor. 1982." Postmodern Culture: An Electronic Journal of Interdisciplinary Criticism 11. William Burroughs. 4 (2000): 319-34. William M. 108-23. Janine. no. no. Walsh. 1963. Varieties of Disturbance. Suggested readings: Boyd. Sex. E. M. 2007. Ragtime. no. Suggested readings: Boswell. edited by Robert Crawford and Thom Nairn. Second Thoughts (La Modification). no. Hopscotch. London: Paladin. 1976. 1975. no. 1991. Ratner’s Star. 1975. 1957." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 32. "The Power of Work in the Novels of Alasdair Gray. Richard Brautigan. L. 3 (1991): 149-68. 1979." The Review of Contemporary Fiction 15. Harrison. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Week 10—Post-Irony David Foster Wallace. . 1959. 2001. J. Pitchford." Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction 41. Marshall. Knight. Lydia Davis. Christopher J. 1986. 1984. Don Delillo. "An Interview with Lydia Davis. Edinburgh: Edinburgh UP. Angela Carter. The Bloody Chamber. Doctorow. Julio Cortazar.Week 9—Dionysian Excess Kathy Acker. Christine Brooke-Rose. Understanding Contemporary American Literature (Ucal). Brief Interviews with Hideous Men.

1968. New York. 1982. Mulligan Stew 1979 Art Spiegelman. Gravity’s Rainbow. 1969. Carlos Fuentes. 1975 Will Self. . 1973. Urbana: U. Beloved. Fantasy and History in the Future Present. Travesty. Smartest Kid on Earth. Chris Ware. Sex. Flight to Canada. One Hundred Years of Solitude. Tallahassee: UP of Florida. Berndt. Joe D. 1981. Jimmy Corrigan. Contemp. 1975. Couturier. Burke. Hugo. American Psycho. NY: Peter Lang. Terra Nostra. 1975. 1991. of Ill. The Female Man. Ronald Sukenick. 1987. Joseph M. Gilbert Sorrentino. The Quantity Theory of Insanity. Caviola. New York: Peter Lang. The Games of Poetics: Ludic Criticism and Postmodern Fiction. Kurt Vonnegut. Luminata. Ishmael Reed. Design and Debris: A Chaotics of Postmodern American Fiction. John Hawkes. Manchester. Ruth E. International Cooper Series in English Language and Literature. 1986-92 (graphic novel). John Fowles. Tuscaloosa. 1967. Thomas Pynchon. Botting. 1983. 1983 Raymond Federman. Joanna Russ. Writers. Boston: Birkhäuser.6. 1962. 1976. 1958. Conte. 1969.Marguerite Duras. Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature (Stml): 83. London: Methuen. 1987 (hypertext). Ursula Le Guin. Michael Joyce. Shelley Jackson. 2000 (graphic novel). and Montage. Pale Fire. Salman Rushdie. Fred. 1975. Janet Frame. Afternoon. Clavier. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. The Left Hand of Darkness. Self and Postmodern American Fiction. Dave Eggers. John Barth and Postmodernism: Spatiality. P. Caramello. The New Fiction: Interviews with Innovative American Writers. Owls Do Cry. 2007. and Regis Durand. Slaughterhouse-Five. The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Travel. 1994. E. Moderato Cantabile. 2000. 1991. Silverless Mirrors: Book. Diamela Eltit. In the Zone: Perception and Presentation of Space in German and American Postmodernism. Toni Morrison. Brett Easton Ellis. 1995 (hypertext). American University Studies Iii: Comparative Literature (Compl): 47. The Third Policeman. 1957. 1957. Jealousy. JR. Midnight’s Children. Patchwork Girl. The Voice in the Closet. 1974. 1991. England: Manchester UP. Machines and Navels: Fiction. Alain Robbe-Grillet. 1976. 98. Maus. 1969. AL: U of Alabama P. 1979. 2002. 1999. Maurice. William Gaddis. Donald Barthelme. Flann O’Brien. Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Charles. Critical Bibliography Bellamy. Vladimir Nabokov.

Postmodern Studies (Pmdns): 30. 1991. 2005. . Detroit: Wayne State UP. Tactical Reading: Feminist Postmodernism in the Novels of Kathy Acker and Angela Carter. Andrew. Paul. Fokkema. England: Bucknell UP. Markey. Maltby. Circus of the Mind in Motion: Postmodernism and the Comic Vision. Ilana. Gordon. Constance. Paul Auster and Postmodern Quest: On the Road to Nowhere. New York. Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P. Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies (Clcst). Duras. Italo Calvino: A Journey toward Postmodernism. Gainesville. and Carter: Breaking Cultural and Literary Boundaries in the Work of Four Postmodernists. NY: Rodopi. Associated UP. 2007. Humor in Life and Letters. Barnes. Crosscurrents: Comparative Studies in European Literature and Philosophy (Crosscurrentsc). New York. English Literary Studies Monograph Series (Els): 73. Horizonte: Studien Zu Texte Und Ideen Der Europã¤Ischen Moderne: 34. NY: Peter Lang. BC: University of Victoria. Postmodern Characters: A Study of Characterization in British and American Postmodern Fiction. Dissident Postmodernists: Barthelme. 2002. 2004. Slade. Trier. Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois UP. Virtual Geographies: Cyberpunk at the Intersection of the Postmodern and Science Fiction. Paul. Pitchford. Jerome. The Postmodern Chronotope: Reading Space and Time in Contemporary Fiction. Postmodern Studies (Pmdns): 34. Urbana: U of Illinois P. Olsen. 1981. NC: McFarland. 1997. London. Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures (Ccrll): 146. The Self-Apparent Word: Fiction as Language/Language as Fiction. 1999. 1983. Lyotard. The Historical Imagination: Postmodernism and the Treatment of the Past in Contemporary British Fiction. Pynchon. Lois. 1991. PA. Teaching the Postmodern: Fiction and Theory. Theories of Play and Postmodern Fiction. FL: UP of Florida. Postmodern Studies (Pmdns): 4. Shiloh. NY: Garland.Edwards. Horstkotte. Geoffrey. 1984. Heuser. 1998. Holmes. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 2000. NC: McFarland. 2002. Postmodern Studies (Pmdns): 18. MacFarlane. Alternative Pleasures: Postrealist Fiction and the Tradition. The Postmodern Fantastic in Contemporary British Fiction. Amsterdam. Martin. Rubinson. Gregory J. Philip. Postmodernism and Notions of National Difference: A Comparison of Postmodern Fiction in Britain and America. Robert Coover: The Universal Fictionmaking Process. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Brian. 1992. Modern American Literature: New Approaches (Moal): 35. Germany: Wissenschaftlicher. Jefferson. Stevick. 1996. Frederick M. and the Postmodern Sublime. 2003. Victoria. Jefferson. Penn Studies in Contemporary American Fiction. The Fiction of Rushdie. Lance. Brenda K. Winterson. New York. Sabine. New York. Crosscurrents/Modern Critiques (Cmc). Nicola. New York: Routledge. Scott. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP. NY: Peter Lang. The Hippie Narrative: A Literary Perspective on the Counterculture. Aleid. Marshall. 1990. Beckett. Smethurst. Lord. Coover. 2007. Netherlands: Rodopi. Lewisburg. Klinkowitz.

Cambridge Studies in American Literature and Culture (Csalc): 91. Tani. The Doomed Detective: The Contribution of the Detective Novel to Postmodern American and Italian Fiction. FL: UP of Florida. New York. Allegories of Telling: Self-Referential Narrative in Contemporary British Fiction. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP. and the Reader.. Walsh. Lynn. Occasional Papers in Language. Postmodern Poetics: Nouveau Roman and Innovative Fiction. Tompkins. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Stefano. Tallahassee: Florida State UP. Richard. 1995. 2006. Ames: Iowa State Univ. 1987. Literature and Linguistics (Oplll): A35. Gainesville. Ben. NY: Rodopi. Costerus (Costerus): 146. 1984. Contingent Meanings: Postmodern Fiction. Novel Arguments: Reading Innovative American Fiction. Cynthia Margarita. 2003. Wells.Stoltzfus. Varsava. Jerry A. Latin American Postmodernisms: Women Writers and Experimentation. Mimesis. . 1990.

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