Fin de millenaire French Fiction: The Aesthetics of Crisis

Hardcover | November 8, 2009

byRuth Cruickshank

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The turn of the millennium in France coincided with a number of tangible crises and apocalyptic discourses, and with the growth of the mass media and global market, further generating and manipulating crisis. In this original, wide-ranging but closely analytical study, Cruickshankcontextualizes and reads the work of four influential writers of prose fiction - Angot, Echenoz, Houellebecq, and Redonnet - teasing out each one's response to this convergence. She suggests that the recurrent fictional and cultural trope of the turning point has both aesthetic and criticalpotential. Bringing together analyses spanning literature, thought, and culture, she identifies and critiques the ways in which, on the eve of the twenty-first century, different theoretical and fictional approaches confront the manipulation of crisis discourses. Drawing on a 'long twentiethcentury' of crisis thinking, Cruickshank counters the perception that a postmodern model of perpetual crisis is culturally dominant, and establishes instead a new critical framework with which to respond to the fin de millenaire aesthetics of crisis.Through patient and illuminating readings, Cruickshank demonstrates how prose fictions afford critical purchase on the global market, and on French co-implication in it. She identifies how the four contrasting writers reflect, perpetuate, and challenge the misogyny and symbolic violence of latecapitalism. Fin de millenaire prose fiction emerges as both problematic and problematizing, bespeaking the need to intervene in debates about the mass media, neoliberalism, global market economics, and sexual and postcolonial identities, while also demonstrating the enduring agency - critical andcreative - of literature itself.

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The turn of the millennium in France coincided with a number of tangible crises and apocalyptic discourses, and with the growth of the mass media and global market, further generating and manipulating crisis. In this original, wide-ranging but closely analytical study, Cruickshankcontextualizes and reads the work of four influential wr...

Ruth Cruickshank is Lecturer in French at Royal Holloway, University of London. She was educated at the University of Leeds and at Lady Margaret Hall and the Queen's College, Oxford. Her research investigates how post-war French writers, filmmakers, and thinkers respond to, resist, and contribute to the development of consumer culture...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:November 8, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199571759

ISBN - 13:9780199571758

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Crisis thinking and the fin de millenaire aesthetics of crisis2. Jean Echenoz: problematic patterns and symbolic violence3. Michel Houellebecq: ideological challenge and precipitating crisis4. Christine Angot: trauma, transgression, and the write to reply5. Marie Redonnet: resistance, barbarism, and self-satisfied contemplationConclusionChronology of 1990s FranceSuggestions for further reading