Contemporary American Fiction: In, Around, and Riding the Edge of the Canon

Contemporary American Fiction: In, Around, and Riding the Edge of the Canon

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qContemporary American Novels: In, Around, and Riding the Edge of the Canonq is an investigation of selected contemporary American novels drawn from three delineating categories: canonical, marginalized, and popular. The purpose of this study was to determine if works drawn from those categories could be examined in a comparable manner---one that focused on similarities rather than differences---in order to open up the traditional canon. The study was divided into two sections of theoretical analysis: formalist and sociopolitical, and one work from each category (canonical, marginalized, and popular) was examined together in a single analysis based upon either a formalist approach or a sociopolitical approach. In the formalist analyses, qualities intrinsic to writing were examined (style, characterization, and plot) utilizing Bakhtin's theory of novel stylistics and his basic plot criteria as outlined in The Dialogic Imagination, as well as Buckley's theory of Bildungsromans; in the sociopolitical analyses, qualities extrinsic to writing were examined (regionalism and feminism) utilizing Showalter's theory of the 'Female phase' and a variety of approaches to Southern literature. The research undertaken demonstrated that novels culled from various categories (i.e. canonical, marginalized, and popular) could stand up equally to literary scrutiny. This study also shifts the current canon debate away from previous models based upon white European male and seniority criteria, or social, political, and cultural criteria, to an expanded canon based upon textual similarities. The implications of this study are important for the field of literary studies not only because it opens up the field to works that have been previously ignored and undervalued, but also because it allows for a new examination of traditional canonical works.In, Around, and Riding the Edge of the Canon End Notes 1 Sho waiter, Elaine. A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1977. 2 In Elaine Showaltera#39;s aquot;Twenty Years: a#39;A Literatureanbsp;...

Title:Contemporary American Fiction: In, Around, and Riding the Edge of the Canon
Publisher:ProQuest - 2007


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