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    Late Modernism, Postmodernism, and After

    Eve, Martin Paul (2019) Late Modernism, Postmodernism, and After. In: Boxall, Peter (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to British Fiction: 1980–2018. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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    This chapter focuses on the parallel strands that run through the last decades of British fiction, whereby a continuing investment in realism runs alongside the explosion of postmodern forms, particularly in fiction, which in turn sits alongside a late modernist movement in British fiction of the period. The prominence of writers such as Ian McEwan, Kazuo Ishiguro, Pat Barker and Zadie Smith might suggest that there is an underlying connection between British writing and realism, that British writers are at their best when writing in a form that has its roots in the realism of Thomas Hardy and George Eliot. But alongside the continuing development of the realist novel, there is a marked development of what might be called a postmodern aesthetic in British writing, that is sometimes entangled with British realism, but often diverts from it. This includes the self-conscious literary fiction of Martin Amis and Salman Rushdie, the magic realism of Angela Carter, and the generically unstable later work of J.G. Ballard. And alongside these divergent paths in the novel is the late modernist fiction of writers such as Samuel Beckett. This chapter traces these strands as they run though the period, and closes by looking at the emergence of work, in the first decades of the current century, which moves beyond the opposition between realism and postmodernism, and which points towards a new phase in the development of British writing.


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Martin Eve
    Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2017 14:12
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:42


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