The Ugly and Mysterious, Twenty-First Century Poetry

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As the appropriation of the metaphor of the subaltern from post-colonial studies suggests, the focus has increasingly turned to the plurality of voices and of narratives within a British cultural context that has become not so much embattled as plural. Groes chooses to revisit the motif of cultural pluralism by emphasizing in fact what he calls a process of cultural dispersal that has to do with the psycho-geography of the city best illustrated by Ian Sinclair.

These essays show thus how much one may learn from reading British fiction from a more globalized perspective which is that of world-literature, as Madelena Gonzalez argues. Taking stock of such critical evolutions is crucial when it comes to understanding the dialogue British fiction entertains with the multiple voices of a complex cultural landscape. The new focus on globalization as a prism for studying literature and culture goes hand in hand with a questioning of the postcolonial paradigm and an attempt to reconfigure it under the aegis of critics who possess a recognized affiliation with Postcolonial Studies Ania Loomba, Benita Parry.

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As the title of the work under discussion here suggests, Brennan reconfigures globalization as a form of cosmopolitanism and links it back to colonialism as one of the hegemonic forms by which metropolitan and colonial states justify the spread of their power. Invoking an eclectic array of cultural sources and models from Cuban music to the writings of C. James, he advocates a return to the values of community and a sense of collective identity. His source material is not used to provide sustained critical readings so much as to serve as a pretext for an attack on what he sees as the dominant critical mode of Culturalism and the metropolitan norm, for, as he argues, Cultural Studies leaves the U.

Brennan discusses the way in which Third World writers enter and are received within the U. Like many other Marxist-oriented critics, he seeks to make visible the dominant ideology and the role academics play in circulating and formulating ideology. The problem seems to be the plethora of literature on the subject and the shortened extracts selected by the editors tend to result in a series of contradictory hypotheses about what globalization might actually be.

However, these essays, although relevant in themselves, are more often than not only tenuously related to what follows and sometimes express a very specific political agenda not really consonant with the other articles in the section. As the editors admit, some of the essays could happily sit in other subgroupings… The justification for this modus operandi is the openness and fluidity of a vast field of on-going research but the disadvantage is that it leaves the reader whirling in a welter of contradictory definitions, opinions and hypotheses.

You have a cup of tea or coffee. You get dressed. For the authors in our third category, this could be interpreted as a manifestation of a tendency for culture to predominate over literature where the activity of criticism is concerned, at least within the English-speaking academy…. If, in practice, many scholars working in English Literature departments study literature from many nations, the tendency to organize literature into national groupings remains the dominant model for literary studies. The examination of the impact of digitization and the development of the Internet on publishing with which the study closes tends to reinforce the now familiar definitions of globalization sketched out in the introductory chapter, that is to say, those that consider the phenomenon as the manifestation of the universal domination of market capitalism in its advanced phase.

They suggest that Postcolonial Studies as a discipline has failed to address the conditions of globalization so far, as well as recognizing some of the limits of what they call Western culturalist readings and the strategic silences in postcolonial scholarship about its own implication in networks of global capital. This special issue is conceived of as an opportunity to fill in the gaps and is notable for engaging head-on with the complex phenomenon of globalization in relation to fiction.

For Ania Loomba et al , Postcolonial Studies is only now in a position to be critical of itself because it has become established as a discipline within universities. They point out that Postcolonialism and globalization theory have so far evolved separately, in the field of the humanities in the case of the former and in the social sciences in the case of the latter; thus they feel that it is urgent to scrutinize the links between the two and offer the volume as an occasion for them to seek a common cause.

This dialectic is examined with precise and apposite examples drawn from cinema and fiction in the essays by Harish Trivedi and John McMurty but is also part of the very rationale for the volume as a whole. Like other works in the corpus under examination here, this volume both appeals to and questions a comparativist approach. Emphasising the necessity of studying the political and economic conditions of cultural production and urging for an historically grounded analysis of literary phenomena, she remains faithful to the idea of a global emancipatory project and a revamped internationalism.

She concludes with a coda on her native South Africa in its post-apartheid phase and the necessity of combining a remembrance of past histories of injustice with a critique of our contemporary condition as a means of working towards universal emancipation.

This three-headed beast is accused of having devoured our sense of history and agency by subordinating them to an obsession with ethnicity, difference and, above all, identity politics, instead of class politics. At all points, the culturalist mind-set is excoriated as being complicit with the capitalist model. But it is also the price we pay for the chance of a brighter future.

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His disillusionment comes from the conviction that since the demise of the New Criticism in the 70s and the rise of Theory, literary criticism has lost its way and become disconnected from literature and, above all, from the text. Preoccupied, like Spivak, with the difficulty of teaching students how to study literature, he gestures towards both formalism and aesthetics, but in a much vaguer and more fervently Romantic way than the celebrated postcolonial critic.

Prefaced by a useful chronological table of Theory landmarks, the study starts from the premise that Theory has forever altered the landscape of literary studies. The essays in the volume not only engage with the practicalities of teaching Theory as a subject in universities, but also examine the future and rationale for literary studies. The assessment of quality is to be based on the uses different authors make of the double pattern and a series of comparative exercises will involve a contest between the following trios of great and lesser literary and cultural icons: Shakespeare v.

Beckett v. Coronation Street ; Philip Larkin v.

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Ezra Pound v. Thribb; Salman Rushdie v. Kingsley Amis v. Tom Wolfe. For example, if you are temperamentally and ideologically committed to experiment and modernism can you distinguish between displays of craftsmanship and the replacement of skill with randomness? In a broader sense, does the presence of demonstrably excellent writing guarantee that the work itself is of great value? Like Lentricchia, Cunningham, who is Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford, is keen to assert the primacy of text over theory.

One of the problems engendered by many of the essays in the collection, as indeed by the introduction, is precisely the conflation of very different positions and personas under the umbrella heading of Theory. Their aims are indeed worthy but in the face of the continuing existence of Theory, it seems impossible now to behave as if its major precepts can be utterly discounted, however questionable they may appear. However, the obscurely utopian thrust of her programme raises many important questions which are not addressed. Ethics and ideology, for example, are central in the battle between the pro- and anti- camps, but generally the volume confines itself to a lukewarm defence of a form of liberal humanism.

The phenomenon will undoubtedly be accentuated by the attribution of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Canadian short story writer, Alice Munro. As a form that develops in the margins of literary study, the short story has attracted variable degrees of critical attention throughout literary history, and short fiction criticism tends to circle back and dwell upon recurrent preoccupations such as generic marginality and definition, formalism, narrative wholeness, and publishing.

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The research in this area over the last four to five years expands upon these areas, while displaying a sense of haunting by previous critics. The persistent legacy of Edgar Allan Poe, for example, is strikingly present. Recent publications from approximately onwards present subtle, yet significant, developments in what appears to be an international, border-crossing landscape of recurrent critical preoccupations.

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  • Toolan perpetuates a long tradition of formalist study in short story research through a close textual analysis of lexico-phrasal patterning in relation to reader expectations and narrative progression. Such emphasis on the process of reading perpetuates the work of prominent short story critics such as Susan Lohafer, who studies concepts of closure and preclosure in Reading for Storyness: Preclosure Theory, Empirical Poetics, and Culture in the Short Story. In this volume March-Russell provides not only an introduction to the study of the short story, he also seeks to re-investigate recurrent ideas about the short story form, and suggests new trends.

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    He evokes, for example, the critical turn in British universities triggered by creative writing programs. According to March-Russell, such programmes foster playful modes and a subversion of critical writing that are wrapped up with a more radical future for short story studies According to Cox, creative writing B.

    She evokes, for example, teaching methods that involve the creative rewriting of texts. Such approaches are decidedly practice based, and are, as Cox explains, a means by which to engage writers in discussions of short story theory. Ailsa Cox is also editor of Short Fiction in Theory and Practice, a recently formed first published in , academic, practice-based journal that seeks to provide an international resource and outlet for writers, readers, translators and publishers of the short story.

    The journal welcomes experimental, rigorous forms of critical discourse and seeks to open up the realm of short story theory to new modes of study. This convergence is brought to bear upon the evolution of postcolonial studies towards issues of eclecticism, migration, diaspora and globalization. The collection focuses on stories from the s to the present day, and proposes a studied interaction between the short story and the hybridization of the field of postcolonial literature with an emphasis on liminality and the fluidity of sexual, textual, national and ethnic identity.

    The tradition of negotiating borders and edges in the short story is brought to resonate with a series of contemporary issues in postcolonial literature. The organization of the chapters displays a focus on Irish history and the short story until the present, ultimately concluding with commentaries about the fragmentation of contemporary Irish identity. It places the British publishing industry in the foreground, studying the different sociological forces that appear in the form of publishing trends and constraints in Great Britain with an emphasis on their shaping influence on the short story form.

    The short story has a distinct history of publication in magazines and periodicals, thematic and historical anthologies, and much attention has been devoted to the short story cycle and collection. Many short story writers speak of the publishing constraints and demands from their publishers to write a novel to consolidate their careers. The study of literary production and reception is indeed rarely absent from short story criticism.

    The collection explores various ways by which authors use short stories to engage with questions of generic legitimacy and authorship in the short story. Comma Press, a publishing house that specializes in the short story, engages in various strategies to promote the short story. Created in collaboration with Literature Across Frontiers and in association with Aberystwyth University , and developed by Toru Interactive, this interactive I-phone app allows readers to read, listen to, or learn about a variety of short stories in English including stories translated from other languages from all over the world.

    We can see here an explicit enactment of the connection many contemporary theorists have made between the short story as fragment Cox , 2 and our contemporary media. These lyric poems are takes on human memory in geological time, as interested in their own asides and parentheticals as they are in the elements. Jason Morris was born and raised in Vermont and now lives in San Francisco.