By Nick Bentley
The Nineteen Nineties proved to be a very wealthy and engaging interval for British fiction. This publication offers a clean viewpoint at the different writings that seemed over the last decade, bringing jointly major lecturers within the field.
content material: advent : mapping the millennium : issues and developments in modern British fiction / Nick Bentley --
From extra to the hot international order / Fred Botting --
'Refugees from time' : heritage, loss of life and the flight from fact in modern writing / Andrzej Gasiorek --
technological know-how and fiction within the Nineties / Patricia Waugh --
British technology fiction within the Nineties : politics and style / Roger Luckhurst --
The McReal factor : personal/national identification in Julian Barnes's England, England / Sarah Henstra --
our on-line world and the physique : Jeanette Winterson's The.powerbook / Sonya Andermahr --
'Fascinating violation' : Ian McEwan's kids / Peter Childs --
'Tongues of bone' : A.L. Kennedy and the issues of articulation / Helen Stoddart --
Mr Wroe's virgins : the 'other Victorians' and up to date fiction / B.E. Maidment --
Pat Barker's vanishing barriers / Lynda Prescott --
Singular occasions : the 'as if' of Beryl Bainbridge's each guy for himself / Fiona Becket --
Iain Sinclair's millennial fiction : the instance of gradual chocolate post-mortem / Julian Wolfreys --
Hedgemony? : suburban area within the Buddha of suburbia / Susan Brook --
Iain Sinclair : the psychotic geographer treads the border-lines / Peter Brooker.
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The illusion of departure, of movement, staged in the narrative’s temporal displacements and loops, barely hides the immobility, the hypostasis of its setting. Eternal recurrence of the same: White Teeth’s topos is simultaneously atopic, its chronologies and histories, even, subsumed by the place it never leaves. Magid, sent away to recover a past and tradition that was never his own, returns even more the same: rational, liberal, legalistic, almost a sterile ﬁgure in his impossibly white suit and superclean lifestyle, a hyperbolically ‘pukka Englishman’, that is, even more English than the English, even more English than, for Abdul-Mickey, the Englishness deﬁning everyone as being ‘all English now, mate’.
Laclau, Ernesto and Chantal Mouﬀe (1985) Hegemony and Socialist strategy: towards a radical democratic politics, London and New York: Verso. MacLaverty, Bernard (1997) Grace Notes, London: Jonathan Cape. Mengham, Rod (2003) ‘General introduction: contemporary British ﬁction’, in Richard J. Lane, Rod Mengham and Philip Tew (eds) Contemporary British Fiction, Cambridge: Polity Press, pp. 1–7. Middleton, Peter and Tim Woods (2000) Literatures of Memory: history, time and space in post-war writing, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Almost. The narratives have moved back to move forward, charting patterns of empire and its decline, diaspora and disappearance, roots and migrations, identity and its loss. The movements present the fort-da of modernity: a (hi)story of human emergence, progress, development from empire, war, revolution, all mapped onto so many little stories of family, culture and generation. Modernity appears, as if from nowhere, and is gone. It repeats to close its loop, end its (hi)story, pressed by something it can neither explain nor represent.