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Title: 'Where I'm calling from' : Raymond Carver, Richard Ford and the new American realism
Author: Price, Wayne L.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1992
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Perhaps the greatest irony of postmodern American fiction has been the ascendency within its broad aegis of the very mode that the early postmoderns of the 1960s so dismissively repudiated, namely realism. This thesis aims to provide both a theoretical reading of this ascendency in relation to the earlier metafictional irrealism and also readings of selected key texts of the 'new realism' on their own post-Modern terms. This initial contextualization of the new American realism is therefore defined very much in relation to the more or less militant epistemic 'ultimism' ('ultimate' in the sense suggested by John Barth in his seminal 'Literature of Exhaustion') which both precedes and to some extent overlaps its own reflexive radicalism. Theoretical interest is focused to begin with, therefore, on such texts as 'The Literature of Exhaustion', Barth's early fiction, Jerome Klinkowitz's critical engagements with both metafiction and, as he terms it, 'experimental realism', and the 'European' new realism of Walter Abish and Peter Handke. But in attempting to find a critical vocabulary with which to analyze this new realism there arises the need for a more than simply comparative contextualisation. The thesis therefore narrows in scope in order to address more comprehensively the nature and origins of its evidently postmodern 'mimesis'. The fictions of Raymond Carver and Richard Ford are selected as broadly representative for the purposes of this exploration, not simply because they have been two of the most influential of the 'new realists' but also because they offer the clearest methodological route to a reading of the problematic but fundamentally important relationshp between this postmodern vernacular radicalism and the Modernist vernacular revolution pioneered by Stein, Anderson, Faulkner and, most significantly of all as regards this particular post-Modern turn, Hemingway.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available