Literary Subversions: New American Fiction and the Practice of Criticism

Literary Subversions: New American Fiction and the Practice of Criticism

Literary Subversions: New American Fiction and the Practice of Criticism

Literary Subversions: New American Fiction and the Practice of Criticism

Synopsis

Klinkowitz' comprehensive Introduction provides the clearest, liveliest exploration to date of the technical and critical developments in the art of the novel over the past two decades.

Using a variety of approaches from polemic and lyric to personal witness, Klinkowitz discusses John Updike, Grace Paley, Robley Wilson, Ishmael Reed, John Gardner, Thomas McGuane, John Irving, Richard Yates, John Barth, Jerzy Kosinski, Dan Wakefield, and Tom Glynn.

Excerpt

If American critics were to follow the practice of their Spanish and Latin American colleagues, John Barth and certain of his contemporaries would be called "the Generation of '31" -- a helpful term which has thus far escaped us. Give or take a few years on either side of that date, one can list the birthdates of a whole constellation of fiction writers who for the lack of a better word have been consistently called "young" and "new," even as still newer and fresher ways of writing fiction have come along: John Barth (1930), Donald Barthelme (1931), Ronald Sukenick and Robert Coover (1932), and Jerzy Kosinski (1933), to name only the most commercially prominent. Just a few years older are Raymond Federman, John Hawkes, and William H. Gass; and even fewer years younger are Thomas Pynchon, Clarence Major, Imamu Amiri Baraka, Steve Katz, and Ishmael Reed.

Though their differences are more numerous than their similarities, all have taken part in the trend which, for a time in the late 1960s and early 1970s, brought a new emphasis on . . .

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