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Postmodernist Fiction Paperback – 2 Jul 1987

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; New Ed edition (2 July 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415045134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415045131
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 1.6 x 29.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 746,755 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"This is one of the most lively and lucid studies of contemporary fiction around. Whether or not you agree with his provocative definition of the postmodern, McHale's argument is always engaging, bold and forceful." Linda Hutcheon

"Not only does the critical jargon not get in the way of his thesis, but McHale even uses examples you've heard of ... A useful and comprehensive examination of the nature of The Beast." City Limits

"McHale ... has written a brilliant, forceful and lucid defence of his own view." John Fletcher, Journal of European Studies

From the Back Cover

In this trenchant and lively study Brian McHale undertake to construct a version of postmodernist fiction which encompassed forms as wide-ranging as North American metafiction, Latin American magic realism, the French New New novel, concrete prose and science fiction.

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Format: Paperback
Brian McHale's work on postmodernist fiction has sometimes been described as difficult to work through, but I'd say this is one of the clearest works on postmodernist literature. I find his explanations quite easy to follow, even in a field as scattered, controversial and unclear as postmodernism sometimes can be.
However, McHale likes to give elaborate examples with his explanations, which seem to achieve the opposite effect of what they are intended for. His examples and excerpts, more often than not stretching across multiple pages, are hard to understand if you have not read the works they are taken from. When reading this book you get the feeling that you'll have to plod through an entire shelf of postmodernist works before you understand half of McHale's examples.
I should add one more comment on the cover - I think a better font could have been used for the title. I don't know what the idea behind the umlauts on the Os was, but it's not working for me and makes everyone who sees the book pronounce the title with a fake Swedish accent.
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Format: Paperback
In an excelent summery, Brian McHale describes strategies of structurizing fictional worlds. Examples of fictional worlds in postmodern fiction includes Invisible cities from Italo Calvino and Tlön the fictive world of a short story by Borges.
McHale does not only describe the worlds of fiction, he creates his own fictional world, a world in which theories try to catch the uncatcheble (that is: fiction). And in this he succeeds to illustrate his own theory. By that, the theory of McHale is not only a theory of fictional worlds in novels, it is also a metatheory of postmodernity.
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