Modernist Futures

Modernist Futures : Innovation and Inheritance in the Contemporary Novel

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In Modernist Futures, David James examines the implications of modernism's continuity in late twentieth- and twenty-first-century writing by tracing its political and ethical valences in emerging novelistic practices. Focusing on the work of J. M. Coetzee, Milan Kundera, Ian McEwan, Toni Morrison, Michael Ondaatje and Phillip Roth, James reconsiders the purpose of literary innovation as it relates to the artistic and cultural interventions such writers perform. By rethinking critical and disciplinary parameters, James brings scholarship on contemporary fiction into dialogue with modernist studies, offering a nuanced account of narrative strategies that sheds new light on the form of the novel today. An ambitious and incisive contribution to the field, this book will appeal especially to scholars of modernism and contemporary literary culture as well as those in American and postcolonial more

Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 1139534440
  • 9781139534444

About Dr. David James

David James is Lecturer in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Literature at the University of Nottingham. Author of Contemporary British Fiction and the Artistry of Space: Style, Landscape, Perception (2008), his articles have appeared in such venues as Modernism/Modernity, The Journal of Modern Literature and Textual Practice. He is editor of The Legacies of Modernism: Historicising Postwar and Contemporary Fiction (2011).show more

Review quote

"This book bridges what James calls the traditional incompatibilities between close reading and cultural analysis, and envisions a future for the not-yet-complete promise of modernism." --Choiceshow more

Table of contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction: contemporary fiction and the promise of modernism; 1. 'Advancing along the inherited path': making it traditionally new in Milan Kundera and Philip Roth; 2. 'The perfect state for a novel': Michael Ondaatje's Cubist imagination; 3. 'Spare prose and a spare, thrifty world': J. M. Coetzee's politics of minimalism; 4. 'The dead hand of modernism': Ian McEwan, reluctant impressionist; 5. 'License to strut': Toni Morrison and the ethics of virtuosity; more