The historical novel is an enduringly popular genre that raises crucial questions about key literary concepts, fact and fiction, identity, history, reading, and writing. In this comprehensive, focused guide, Jerome de Groot offers an accessible introduction to the genre and critical debates that surround it, including: the development of the historical novel from early eighteenth-century works through to postmodern and contemporary historical fiction different genres, such as sensational or ‘low’ fiction, crime novels, literary works, counterfactual writing and related issues of audience, value, and authenticity the many functions of historical fiction, particularly the challenges it poses to accepted histories and postmodern questioning of ‘grand narratives’ the relationship of the historical novel to the wider cultural sphere with reference to historical theory, the internet, television, and film key theoretical concepts such as the authentic fallacy, postcolonialism, Marxism, queer and feminist reading. Drawing on a wide range of examples from across the centuries and around the globe The Historical Novel is essential reading for students exploring the interface of history and fiction.
The Fiction of History sets out a number of themes in the relationship between history and fiction, emphasising the tensions and dilemmas created in this relationship and examining how various writers have dealt with these. In the first part, two chapters discuss the philosophy behind the connection between fiction and history, whether history is fiction, and the distinction between the past and history. Part two goes on to discuss the relationship between history and literature using case studies such as Virginia Woolf and Charles Dickens. Part three looks at television and film (as well as other media) through case studies such as the film Welcome to Sarajevo and Soviet and Australian films. Part four considers a particular theme that has prominence in both history and literature, postcolonial studies, focusing on the issues of fictions of nationhood and civilization and the historical novel in postcolonial contexts. Finally, the fifth section comprises two interviews with novelists Penelope Lively and Adam Thorpe and discusses the ways in which their works explore the nature of history itself.
Representation in Select Novels of Umberto Eco and Orhan Pamuk
Author: Nishevita J. Murthy
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
Historicizing Fiction/Fictionalizing History brings together two authors, Umberto Eco and Orhan Pamuk, not frequently studied in comparison. By focusing on their non/fictional works to present a unique study of the methods and concepts of representation, Murthy uses contemporary historical novels to examine fictional depictions of reality, and provides a fresh perspective on representation studies in literature. Written in an accessible style, and tapping into fields as varied as literary and critical theory, the historical novel, postmodernism, and historiography, Historicizing Fiction/Fictionalizing History considers the ways in which reality, as discourse, confronts a text-external reality, and how this confrontation affects the autonomy of the fictional space – topics that remain persistently problematic areas within literary studies. Eco’s The Name of the Rose and Baudolino, and Pamuk’s My Name is Red and Snow, with their topical concerns and methods of representation, promise a rewarding comparative study. This book provides an early critical framework for these four works, placing them within the rubric of the postmodernist historical novel, as creative works that also comment on the process of literary writing through their recreation of historical pasts. In this respect, Historicizing Fiction/Fictionalizing History promises to be an engaging read in literary criticism and historiography, as well as a handy companion for Eco and Pamuk enthusiasts.
Historical Fiction and Cultural Memory in Finland and Estonia
Author: Linda Kaljundi
Publisher: BoD - Books on Demand
Category: Language Arts & Disciplines
Since its emergence along with Western nationalism, historical fiction has been one of the key forms for constructing national histories - and it has not lost its importance even today. This volume highlights the cultural work historical fiction performed in Finland and Estonia ca. 1800-2000 in the ongoing articulation of national identities. This book comprises of a theoretical preface, a comparative survey of Finnish and Estonian historical fiction in their socio-political contexts, case studies by literary scholars and historians and a summary chapter by Ann Rigney that places Finnish and Estonian historical fiction in a broader European perspective. This volume is highly relevant to academics and students interested in cultural memory and nationalism studies at large. As one of the very few edited collections of comparative studies on Finnish and Estonian literature, it is also a must-read to those who study Finnish and Estonian subjects in particular. As the volume is situated in the cross-disciplinary field of cultural memory studies, it demonstrates that historical fiction is a stimulating research subject for various disciplines, including history, ethnology, cultural studies, art history and film studies. In all of these fields, this book is also suitable for students at different levels of study and as a reference guide.
'Science Fiction' offers a critical account of the phenomenon of science fiction, illustrating the critical terminology and following the contours of its continuing history. The impact of technological advances on the genre is discussed.
Crime Fiction provides a lively introduction to what is both a wide-ranging and hugely popular literary genre. Using examples from a variety of novels, short stories, films and televisions series, John Scaggs: presents a concise history of crime fiction - from biblical narratives to James Ellroy - broadening the genre to include revenge tragedy and the gothic novel explores the key sub-genres of crime fiction, such as 'Rational Criminal Investigation', The Hard-Boiled Mode', 'The Police Procedural' and 'Historical Crime Fiction' locates texts and their recurring themes and motifs in a wider social and historical context outlines the various critical concepts that are central to the study of crime fiction, including gender, narrative theory and film theory considers contemporary television series like C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation alongside the 'classic' whodunnits of Agatha Christie. Accessible and clear, this comprehensive overview is the essential guide for all those studying crime fiction and concludes with a look at future directions for the genre in the twentieth-first century.
Adaptation and Appropriation in Late Twentieth-Century Jesus Novels
Author: Timo Eskola
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Late twentieth-century Jesus novels carve out a completely new picture of Jesus. Those written by Norman Mailer, Jose Saramago, Michèle Roberts, Marianne Fredriksson, and Ki Longfellow, among others, provide inversive revisions of the canonical Gospels. Their adaptations often turn into a critique of the whole of Christian history. The contrast novels investigated in this study end up with appropriations that are based on prototypical rewriting. They aim at the rehabilitation of Judas, and some of them make Mary Magdalene the key figure of Christianity. Saramago describes God as a bloodthirsty tyrant, and Mailer makes God battle the devil in a Manichaen sense as with an equal. The main result of this intertextual analysis is that these authors have adopted Nietzschean ideas in their writing. An attack on the so-called biblical slave morality and violent concept of God deprives Jesus of his Jewish messianic identity, makes Old Testament law a contradiction of life, calls sacrificial soteriology a violent paradigm supporting oppression, and presents God as a cruel monster. As a result, Jewish faith appears in a negative light. Apparently, Western culture still harbours anti-Judaic attitudes, albeit hidden beneath sentiments of equality and tolerance. Timo Eskola skillfully shows that despite the evident post-Holocaust consciousness present in the novels, they actually adopt an arrogant and ironic refutation of Jewish beliefs and Old Testament faith.
Parody is part of all our lives. It occurs not only in literature, but also in everyday speech, in theatre and television, architecture and films. Drawing on examples from Aristophanes to The Simpsons, Simon Dentith explores: * the place of parody in the history of literature * parody as a subversive or conservative mode of writing * parody's pivotal role in debates about postmodernism * parody in the culture wars from ancient times to the present This lively introduction situates parody at the heart of literary and cultural studies and offers a remarkably clear guide to this sometimes complex topic. Parody will serve as an essential resource, to be read and re-read by students of all levels.
The depiction of personal and collective suffering in modern Chinese novels differs significantly from standard Communist accounts and many Eastern and Western historical narratives. Writers such as Yu Hua, Su Tong, Wang Anyi, Mo Yan, Han Shaogong, Ge Fei, Li Rui, and Zhang Wei skew and scramble common conceptions of China's modern development, deploying avant-garde narrative techniques from Latin American and Euro-American modernism to project a surprisingly "un-Chinese" dystopian vision and critical view of human culture and ethics. The epic narratives of modern Chinese fiction make rich use of magical realism, surrealism, and unusual treatments of historical time. Also featuring graphic depictions of sex and violence, as well as dark, raunchy comedy, these novels reflect China's recent history re-presenting the overthrow of the monarchy in the early twentieth century and the resulting chaos of revolution and war; the recurring miseries perpetrated by class warfare during the dictatorship of Mao Zedong; and the social dislocations caused by China's industrialization and rise as a global power. This book casts China's highbrow historical novels from the late 1980s to the first decade of the twenty-first century as a distinctively Chinese contribution to the form of the global dystopian novel and, consequently, to global thinking about the interrelations of utopia and dystopia.