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    Apes in the Plan: an unpublished typescript by Jonathan Lethem

    Brooker, Joseph (2022) Apes in the Plan: an unpublished typescript by Jonathan Lethem. Orbit: A Journal of American Literature 10 (2), ISSN 2398-6786.

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    Apes in the Plan is a typescript by the US novelist Jonathan Lethem, stored at the Beinecke Library at Yale University. This typescript comprises a complete unpublished novel, written c.1983-1986. Part I of the present article describes this text, identifies key precursors, explains its likely aesthetic sources and clarifies its place in literary and cultural history. Part II then integrates this text into the longer narrative of Lethem’s oeuvre by highlighting and analysing specific continuities between this text and Lethem’s later, published work. The analysis thus contributes to the understanding of Lethem’s work as a whole, by emphasising the continuity of certain themes and motifs from an earlier stage than has previously been recognised. The analysis demonstrates that even as Lethem left behind Apes in the Plan as a piece of juvenilia, he also continued to work with prominent aspects of this text, including character names, science fictional features, social critique, an interest in animal life, and a heightened awareness of language. An advocate of cultural 'second use', Lethem would find a second use for some of the elements that he had first deployed in Apes in the Plan.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Jonathan Lethem, Science Fiction, Beinecke Library, Archive, Philip K. Dick, Animals
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2023 05:19
    Last Modified: 04 Oct 2023 18:04


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