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She is reflecting on an oft-expressed anxiety about the novel's prodigious and promiscuous adaptation of whatever came its way and the threat of anamorphism that has hovered over this genre in modern literary studies. Robert's breathless inventory of its many suspect attributes is worth quoting at length:. Graduating from a discredited sub-category to an almost unprecedented Power, it now reigns more or less supreme over the world of literature which it influences aesthetically and which has now become economically dependent on its welfare.

With the freedom of a conqueror who knows no law other than that of his unlimited expansion, the novel has abolished every literary caste and traditional form and appropriates all modes of expression. And while it squanders an age-old literary heritage it is simultaneously intent on monopolizing ever wider provinces of human experience of which it frequently claims an intimate knowledge.

Revolutionary and middle-class, democratic by choice, but with a marked tendency for totalitarian over-rulings of obstacles and frontiers, free to the point of arbitrariness or total anarchy The novel's faults by this account are "very grave indeed," as Mr. Darcy would say to Elizabeth Bennett in response to her own breathless and angry inventory of his suspect character. A parasite, a conqueror, a commoner, an anarchist, a totalitarian persona, a thief, a shape-shifter, and an outlaw.

No wonder so many writers, theorists, and critics over this past century have periodically wished the novel dead. The rise of photography, cinema, and television and the subsequent explosion of digital media have each been put forward as reasons why the novel may be on its last legs.

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A quintessential product of the print revolution, the age of the novel in such understandings broadly extends from to , after which its cultural dominance diminishes in direct proportion to the rise of the media industry, especially the ensconcing of television sets, and now the personal computer, in the intimacy of the domestic sphere. The realm of the hypervisual and the spectacular in our digital age is posited as a devastating rival for the novel, often by novelists themselves. In Don DeLillo pronounced the death of the novel in the face of horrific spectacles of terror in our time.

In a society that is filled with glut and repetition and endless consumption the act of terror may be the only meaningful act. True terror is a language and a vision. There is a deep narrative structure to terrorist acts and they infiltrate and alter consciousness in ways writers used to aspire to.

This Thing Called the World: The Contemporary Novel as Global Form

The degree to which [terrorists] influence mass consciousness is the extent of our decline as shapers of sensibility and thought. Terror's response is a narrative that has been developing over years, only now becoming inescapable. It is our lives and minds that are occupied now. Against this thesis of the death of the novel in the face of horrific media spectacles and the inordinate influence of visual media, I propose that we rethink the role of the novel in our hypervisual age in terms of the genre's fundamental open-endedness to new influences, including the multimedial.

The novelistic trajectory is itself a phenomenon of constant accrual and renewal.


In other words, I think it is worthwhile to renew an argument for what, after Bakhtin, is popularly called the novelization thesis — that is, a historicist understanding of the novel as having an infinite future because, by its very nature, the novel "reflects the tendencies of a new world in the making. In light of the specific concerns of this book, for instance, we might productively explore how the novels themselves abstract the phenomenology of spectatorship and exorbitant visual witnessing in our time.

In doing so we conceptualize the phenomenon of novelization not in terms of the novel's exceptionalism, which can often sound grandiose, totalizing, and ahistorical everything is novelistic , but by attending to the shifting horizons of novelistic work in different technological eras. Bazin's essay "In Defense of Mixed Cinema" was a significant intervention in the mid-twentieth century against the movement of "pure cinema," a movement intent on affirming the absolute autonomy of cinema as an art form.

When he talked of some films in the late s and early s as a "point at which the avant-garde has now arrived, the making of films that dare to take their inspiration from a novel-like style one might describe as ultracinematographic," this was often interpreted as his valorization of the novel as some kind of ur -form to which the cinema would always be indebted. A close reading of the essay, however, reveals Bazin's deep insistence not on the superiority of the novel as an exemplary product of what he calls our "technical civilization" but on his critical appeal to attend to the rich aesthetic convergences that emerge as novel and cinema battle it out for the minds and imaginations of the publics.

The critical point to note here is that it was Bazin who cleared the theoretical ground for asking questions that are actually attentive to the interpenetration of genres, the recursive historicity of their formal and technological evolution, and the consequently changing phenomenology of apperception. The discussion thus far provides a rich and enabling opening from which to understand the complex habitations of the novel in our era of proliferating digital and visual genres.

Salman Rushdie interview (1999)

The imagistic and the visual are such a given that it is pointless to argue against their influence by positing the influence of the novel as a counterpoint in print. It is far more illuminating for novel scholars to understand the transformation of apperception on novel worlds of our time and to explore the ways in which the idea of the novelistic itself is in the process of being transformed by the vastly magnified spectrum of ocular and sonic stimulation that characterizes our information age. The relationship between the verbal and the visual, narrative and image, the print and the digital has never been more fraught or more charged with radical transformative possibilities than in this information-rich, war-torn age.

In this chapter I illustrate this argument in two ways. First, I trace a mode of novelistic intermediality derived from the trope of ekphrasis — the verbal description of a visual object — and argue that the novel, far from being dead, manifests a radically new mode of engagement with an ever-expanding realm of virtual publics. Second, I undertake a reading that complicates the relationship between the widespread mediatization of war-induced humanitarian crises and visualization of such crises in contemporary novels. I argue that the melancholic mode that these novels adopt operates with a dissensual force that destabilizes the visual economy of media representations of war and humanitarian suffering.

Together they serve as a frontispiece to my extended contemplation on the powerful provenance of the novelistic imagination in our age of endemic violence and visual witnessing. In what follows I am mindful that I am using a short story to talk about the novelistic imagination. Amis has also gone on record that he was tempted to craft his story of the last days of the lead hijacker of American Airlines Flight 11 after being repeatedly exposed to the televisual spectacle of the collapsing towers of the World Trade Center alongside the security footage of Atta's movements before his group boarded the ill-fated flight — a visual juxtaposition that stimulated his novelistic imagination.

Contents General preface. Section I 1.

The genesis. Historical setting. The story outline. A chapterwise critical summary.

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Section II 5. The starting point Philosophic and poetic. Section III 8. The ending. Section IV Section V A passage to India and the waste land some intertextual echoes. A select bibliography. Forster's masterpiece A Passage to India has remained consistently popular and is widely studied in India.

English and American Studies in German

It has also emerged as the most controversial of all his works. Ever since its first publication it has received both enthusiastic applause and corrosive criticism for various reasons across geographical and cultural frontiers. The available corpus of criticism on the novel quite voluminous and often contrapuntal can reasonably baffle and intrigue the young students. Keeping in view the needs of the students of our universities this in depth study of the book with reference to its various facets has been prepared in a lucid style. The author has penetrated the text with sensitive insight and scholarly command from varied angels of genesis historical setting title themes structure characters narrative technique including symbols rhythm language intertextual echoes and imperial and postcolonial discourse.

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  • In addition to providing an introduction a story outline a detailed critical summary of the entire text a select bibliography and sample questions have been given. The book will be immensely useful to students scholars and teachers in the area. Plus d'informations sur ce vendeur Contacter le vendeur 5. About this Item: Sarup, New Delhi, Contents Preface. Is there a Mother in this text. The Blackamoor The dark stranger. Dryden's All for Love and the aesthetics of adaptation.

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