Postmodern Counternarratives: Irony and Audience in the Novels of Paul Auster, Don DeLillo, Charles Johnson, and Tim O'Brien

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Nonspecific Binding
  • Copyright: 2009-06-16
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book provides a wide-ranging discussion of realism, postmodernism, literary theory and popular fiction before focusing on the careers of four prominent novelists. Despite wildly contrasting ambitions and agendas, all four grow progressively more sympathetic to the expectations of a mainstream literary audience, noting the increasingly neglected yet archetypal need for strong explanatory narrative even while remaining wary of its limitations, presumptions, and potential abuses. Exploring novels that manage to bridge the gap between accessible storytelling and literary theory, this book shows how contemporary authors reconcile values of posmodern literary experimentation and traditional realism.

Table of Contents

Postmodernism, Liberal Ironism, and Contemporary Storytelling
Social Realism in the Postmodern Age
Middle Class Realism and the Acceptance of the Reader
Morality and Solidarity in the Ironic Novel
Evil is the Movement Toward Void: Self-Absorption, Play, and the Ambiguous Gift of Genre in the Earlier Novels of Don DeLillo
Entropy and Efflorescence: To and From the Zero in the Early Novels of Paul Auster
Nobody Would Believe a Word: Earnestness in the Face of Postmodernism Terror in the Early Novels of Tim O'Brien
Father's Gift of Mythopoesis and Love: Conflicted Voices in the Early Charles Johnson
The Days of Being a Shadow are Over: The Ironic Narrative in Practice
Others First: Approaching Solidarity
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