Reminiscence and Re-creation in Contemporary American Fiction by Stacey OlsterReminiscence and Re-creation in Contemporary American Fiction by Stacey Olster

Reminiscence and Re-creation in Contemporary American Fiction

byStacey Olster

Paperback | April 30, 2009

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The world reflected in post-modernist fiction is one of chance and randomness, devoid of historical intelligibility. Stacey Olster challenges this view by distinguishing American post-modernism--with respect to the views of historical processes that its practitioners share. Arguing that their experience of communism proved instrumental in shaping the historical perspective of novelists who began writing after World War II, Olster examines their change in perspective in the 1950s after historical events forced them to acknowledge the failure of the communist ideal in Russia. Focusing on Norman Mailer, Thomas Pynchon, John Barth, Robert Coover, and E.L. Doctorow, Olster portrays the idiosyncratic--but consistent--model of history that each began to construct in his work in order to preserve the illusion of an ordered sense of time. The author defines the qualities the writers share that form a common sensibility: a vision of historical movement taking the shape of an open-ended spiral, a refusal to accept the inevitability of apocalypse, and a conscious return to the traditions of earlier American authors.
Title:Reminiscence and Re-creation in Contemporary American FictionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:232 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.51 inPublished:April 30, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521109809

ISBN - 13:9780521109802

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Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; 1. A disruption of sensibility; 2. The transition to post-Modernism: Norman Mailer and a new frontier in fiction; 3. Thomas Pynchon: an interface of history and science; 4. John Barth: Clio as kin to Calliope; Conclusion: 'subjective historicism'; Notes; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"In an excellent critical study of the relationship between American literature and American history, Stacey Olster offers an illuminating apologia for American post-modernist writers...Olster's argument is thought-provoking, written in lively and clear prose, and is impressively well-researched and documented." American Literature