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By Michael Greaney; Palgrave Connect (Online service)

Modern Fiction and the makes use of of concept is a examine of the reception and illustration of severe thought in literary fiction because the Sixties. regardless of its recognition because the bete noire of inventive writers, serious conception has turn into a huge resourceful source for authors of up to date fiction, who've pitched vigorously into debates round the demise of the writer, the dying of humanism, the increase of feminism, the emergence of 'hyperreality'. This topical learn examines the bold 'novelizations' of radical literary conception within the paintings of AS Byatt, Angela Carter, Mark Z. Danielewksi, Umberto Eco, John Fowles, David hotel, Richard Powers, etc. It bargains a finished research of the 'post-theoretical' novel, and lines another background of the 'theory wars' within the pages of modern literary fiction. learn more... advent: Fiction in(to) conception -- The Structuralist Novel -- From Structuralism to Dialogics -- The tradition Wars and past -- The Vanishing writer -- Foucauldian Fictions -- Feminism as opposed to Poststructuralism -- legal indicators: homicide in concept -- the radical in Hyperreality -- end: Fiction After conception

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Taking its cue from Zapp, Small World presents critical reading as a saga of disappointed phallocentricism whose hero is a questing male subject in pursuit of a duplicitously elusive female object that both provokes and resists masculine fantasies of consummation and possession. But with the emergence of Angelica as speaking subject rather than sought-after object, the novel both feminizes Zapp’s model of reading and makes partial amends for the very striking absence of feminism from its own repertoire of theoretical interests.

This ‘dialogue’ between the down-to-earth narrator and his highbrow heroine becomes particularly noticeable in the politely bemused account of Robyn’s austere anti-humanism: It might seem a bit bleak, a bit inhuman (‘antihumanist, yes; inhuman, no,’ she would interject), somewhat deterministic (‘not at all; the From Structuralism to Dialogics 37 truly determined subject is he who is not aware of the discursive formations that determine him. Or her,’ she would add scrupulously, being among other things a feminist), but in practice this doesn’t seem to affect her behaviour very noticeably – she seems to have ordinary human feelings, ambitions, desires, to suffer anxieties, frustrations, fears, like anyone else in this imperfect world, and have a natural inclination to try and make it a better place.

Bakhtin credits Dostoevsky with the invention of the ‘polyphonic novel’ in which characters become virtual co-authors in the sense that their voices merge with, or bounce off, or challenge, or even drown out the author’s voice. 12 On the face of it Robyn seems to enjoy a similar kind of freedom: her interjections are brisk, confident and forthright, whereas the narrator’s voice is altogether more tentative (‘a bit bleak’, ‘a bit inhuman’, ‘somewhat deterministic’), impressionistically rendering what Robyn seems (another key word here) rather than dogmatically asserting what she is.

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