William S. Burroughs’ experimental narratives, from the 1959 publication of Naked Lunch through the late trilogy of the 1980s, have provided readers with intriguing challenges and, for some, disheartening frustrations. Yet, these novels continue to generate new interest and inspire new insights among an increasing and evolving readership. This book addresses the unique characteristics of Burroughs’ narrative style in order to discover strategies for engaging and navigating these demanding novels. Bolton advises, “Burroughs’ subversive themes and randomizing techniques do not amount to unmitigated attacks on conventions, as many critics suggest, but constitute part of a careful strategy for effecting transformations in his readers”. Utilizing various poststructuralist theories, as well as recent theories in electronic literature and posthumanism, Mosaic of Juxtaposition examines the various strategies that Burroughs employs to challenge assumptions about textual interpretation and to redefine the relationship between reader and text.
Poetic Revolutionaries is an exploration of the relationship between radical textual practice, social critique and subversion. From an introduction considering recent debates regarding the cultural politics of intertextuality allied to avant-garde practice, the study proceeds to an exploration of texts by a range of writers for whom formal and poetic experimentation is allied to a subversive politics: Jean Genet, Monique Wittig, Angela Carter, Kathy Acker, Kathleen Mary Fallon, Kim Scott and Brian Castro. Drawing on theories of avant-garde practice, intertextuality, parody, representation, and performance such as those of Mikhaïl Bakhtin, Julia Kristeva, Gérard Genette, Margaret A. Rose, Linda Hutcheon, Fredric Jameson, Ross Chambers and Judith Butler, these readings explore how a confluence of writing strategies – covering the structural, narratological, stylistic and scenographic – can work to boost a text’s subversive power.
“The books are true while reality is lying...” Championing the popular Fantasy genre on the same terms as its readers, Rayment casts a critical eye over the substance and methods of political critique in the Fantasy novels of Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman and China Miéville. Ranging across subjects as diverse as exquisite fundamentalism and revolutionary trains, encountering pervert-priests, dwarf hermaphrodites and sex-scarred lovers and pondering the homicidal tendencies of fairy tales and opera, Fantasy, Politics, Postmodernity develops a theoretically wide-ranging and illuminating account of how the novels of these writers do and do not sustain politically insightful critique of the real world, while bringing intellectual and ethical concerns to bear on the popular Fantasy form.
Collage Culture develops a comprehensive theory of the origins and meanings of collage and readymades in modern and postmodern art, literature, and everyday life. Demonstrating that the origins of collage are found in assembly line technologies and mass media forms of layout and advertising in early twentieth-century newspapers, Collage Culture traces how the historical avant-garde turns the fragmentation of Fordist production against nationalist, fascist, and capitalist ideologies, using the radical potential unleashed by new technologies to produce critical collages. David Banash adeptly surveys the reinvention of collage by a generation of postmodern artists who develop new forms including cut-ups, sampling, zines, plagiarism, and copying to cope with the banalities and demands of consumer culture. Banash argues that collage mirrors the profoundly dialectical relations between the cut of assembly lines and the readymades of consumerism even as its cutting-edges move against the imperatives of passive consumption and disposability instituted by those technologies, forms, and relations. Collage Culture surveys and analyzes works of advertising, assemblage, film, literature, music, painting, and photography from the historical avant-garde to the most recent developments of postmodernism.