Twentieth Century Literature

A quarterly journal of scholarly literary criticism publishing refereed papers on all aspects of twentieth-century literature, including English-language essays on literature in other languages.

Articles from Vol. 53, No. 3, Fall

Against the Ontology of the Present: Paul Auster's Cinematographic Fictions
In the "cinema" ... man has lost his soul; in return, however, he gains his body. --Georg Lukacs ("Thoughts" 16) If we agree with Fredric Jameson that historicizing works of literature is always necessary (Political Unconscious 9), recent...
How to Do Things with Novels
Why We Read Fiction: Theory of Mind and the Novel by Lisa Zunshine Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2006. 198 pages The title of Lisa Zunshine's new book reminds me of J. L. Austin's title How to Do Things with Words. Like Austin, Zunshine...
Introduction: After Postmodernism
The essays in this issue of Twentieth-Century Literature propose new models for understanding contemporary fiction in the wake of postmodernism's waning influence. By now, as Jeremy Green notes, declarations of postmodernism's demise have become a...
Literatures between Borders
Ethnic American Literature: Comparing Chicano, Jewish, and African American Writing by Dean J. Franco Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006. 219 pages Trailing Clouds: Immigrant Fiction in Contemporary America by David Cowart...
Sentimental Posthumanism: David Foster Wallace
If, as Edward W. Soja argued in 1989, postmodernism involved "the reassertion of a critical spatial perspective in contemporary social theory" (2), then the post-postmodern era might be said to have moved beyond the spatial dialectics that implicitly...
The Children of 1965: Allegory, Postmodernism, and Jhumpa Lahiri's the Namesake
Jhumpa Lahiri was already a celebrated author when her first novel appeared in print. Her short story "Interpreter of Maladies" was selected for the O. Henry Prize and for inclusion in Best American Short Stories. Her book of collected stories, Interpreter...
The Ends of America, the Ends of Postmodernism
If Los Angeles is the city that taught us how to be postmodern, might it also be the place where we begin to imagine what comes after? For well over 30 years, the architecture, demographics, lifestyles, and industries of Southern California have inspired...
The Novel in a Time of Terror: Middlesex, History, and Contemporary American Fiction
Jeffrey Eugenides's 2002 Middlesex, a critically acclaimed historical novel, has been praised as an expansive, epic portrait of the American twentieth century from its immigrant roots to the present. (1) It takes its readers from a Turkish village...
Training and Vision: Roth, DeLillo, Banks, Peck, and the Postmodern Aesthetics of Vocation
What is hastily called deconstruction as such is never a technical set of discursive procedures, still less a new hermeneutic method operating on archives or utterances in the shelter of a given and stable institution; it is also, and...
You! Hypocrite Lecteur! New Readings of T. S. Eliot
Gender, Desire, and Sexuality in T. S. Eliot edited by Cassandra Laity and Nancy K. Gish Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. 265 pages Readers, hypocritical or otherwise, have found in T. S. Eliot a range of causes for complaint,...
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