The Ethical Component in Experimental British Fiction since the 1960’s
Editor: Susana Onega and Jean-Michel Ganteau
Date Of Publication: Oct 2007
Some humanist critics contend that only realist texts have an ethical function, that there is no ethical message behind the parodic and self-conscious games played by experimental fiction and that, since emotion neutralises the ethical faculties, there is no ethical dimension in such excess-pedling postmodernist genres and modes as kitsch, melodrama and romance. Yet, one may argue that the defamiliarisation imposed by parody, metafictional overkill and sundry devices symptomatic of emotional paroxysm on the realist text involves some measure of criticism of received truth and makes for the practice of a non-deontic ethics of truths that is also fairly often an ethics of alterity. This volume examines analytical evidence for the ethical component in key experimental British novels from the 1960's to the present, with special focus on John Fowles, Brigid Brophy, B. S. Johnson, Angela Carter, Peter Ackroyd, A. S. Byatt, Martin Amis, Zadie Smith, Will Self, Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes.
Susana Onega is Prof. of English Literature at the University of Zaragoza, (Spain). Her research focuses mainly on postmodernist British fiction and literary theory. She has written extensively on John Fowles, Peter Ackroyd, Jeanette Winterson, and Charles Palliser and written, edited or co-edited works on historiographic metafiction, narratology, intertextuality, ethics and trauma theory.
Jean-Michel Ganteau is Professor of English Literature at the University Paul Valéry-Montpellier 3 (France). He has a special interest in the ethics of affects (as manifest in such aesthetic resurgences and concretions as the baroque, kitsch, camp, melodrama and romance), and has published extensively on contemporary British novelists such as David Lodge, Peter Ackroyd, Martin Amis and Jeanette Winterson.
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