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Stories of the middle space : reading the ethics of postmodern realisms / Deborah C. Bowen.

By: Bowen, Deborah C.
Material type: TextTextSeries: JSTOR eBooks.Publisher: Montreal ; Ithaca [NY] : McGill-Queen's University Press, ©2010Description: 1 online resource (ix, 282 pages) : illustrations.Content type: text Media type: computer Carrier type: online resourceISBN: 9780773591035; 0773591036.Other title: Reading the ethics of postmodern realisms.Subject(s): Ethics in literature | Christian ethics in literature | Realism in literature | Postmodernism (Literature) | Postmodernism (Literature) -- Canada | Morale dans la littérature | Morale chrétienne dans la littérature | Réalisme dans la littérature | Postmodernisme (Littérature) | Postmodernisme (Littérature) -- CanadaAdditional physical formats: Print version:: Stories of the middle space.DDC classification: C813/.5409353 Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
True stories and the oppressions of history -- Magic realism, social protest and the irrepressibility of language -- Parodic myth and sacred story -- Writing with photographs: art, lies, and realist developments -- The genres of the middle space.
Action note: digitized 2011 committed to preserveReview: "Postmodernism's critics often accuse the movement of being dangerously amoral because of its apparent wariness of concepts such as truth, ethics, and justice. Stories of the Middle Space explores the possibility of "postmodernism-with-a-conscience" and examines a variety of British and Canadian postmodern fiction to show how twentieth-century critical theory can be brought into fruitful dialogue with a faith-based perspective. Highlighting the wide variety of ethical concerns considered by writers such as Timothy Findley, Thomas King, Carol Shields, Julian Barnes, A.S. Byatt, and Salman Rushdie, Deborah Bowen makes the case for a new category of "postmodern realism" and shows how contemporary stories about "the real" and "the good" are constructed. Applying theoretical insights from Emmanuel Levinas and Mikhail Bakhtin, Bowen investigates categories of postmodern realism such as magic realism, parody, and metafiction while laying the groundwork for Christian readings of a medium that is often perceived as largely irreligious. An illuminating study of well-known contemporary writers, Stories of the Middle Space is a critically nuanced and methodologically innovative work that reads the postmodern from a faith-based perspectives to create new literary insights."--Jacket.
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Item type Current location Call number URL Status Date due Barcode
Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
Online
PR9192.5 .B69 2010 (Browse shelf) https://ezproxy.uttyler.edu/login?url=http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/j.ctt1q6073 Available ocn818658349

Includes bibliographical references (pages 253-271) and index.

"Postmodernism's critics often accuse the movement of being dangerously amoral because of its apparent wariness of concepts such as truth, ethics, and justice. Stories of the Middle Space explores the possibility of "postmodernism-with-a-conscience" and examines a variety of British and Canadian postmodern fiction to show how twentieth-century critical theory can be brought into fruitful dialogue with a faith-based perspective. Highlighting the wide variety of ethical concerns considered by writers such as Timothy Findley, Thomas King, Carol Shields, Julian Barnes, A.S. Byatt, and Salman Rushdie, Deborah Bowen makes the case for a new category of "postmodern realism" and shows how contemporary stories about "the real" and "the good" are constructed. Applying theoretical insights from Emmanuel Levinas and Mikhail Bakhtin, Bowen investigates categories of postmodern realism such as magic realism, parody, and metafiction while laying the groundwork for Christian readings of a medium that is often perceived as largely irreligious. An illuminating study of well-known contemporary writers, Stories of the Middle Space is a critically nuanced and methodologically innovative work that reads the postmodern from a faith-based perspectives to create new literary insights."--Jacket.

True stories and the oppressions of history -- Magic realism, social protest and the irrepressibility of language -- Parodic myth and sacred story -- Writing with photographs: art, lies, and realist developments -- The genres of the middle space.

Print version record.

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Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Covering recent British and Canadian works that are often the subjects of plot summaries or formulaic readings, Bowen's thoughtful book is more rigorous in looking at the British side, but broader in scope on the Canadian side. In reading Canadian Joy Kogawa's Obasan (1981) as Christian as well as multicultural, Bowen (English, Redeemer Univ. College, Canada) points out that "traditional Japanese codes of behavior" dovetail with Christian ones. The author sees even nonreligious writers such as Jeanette Winterson as proffering positive values, though she upbraids Winterson for not allowing Puritans the same generosity she wishes Puritans to allow others. Discussing photography in literature, Bowen distinguishes between prize-winning novelist Michael Ondaatje, who allows instability in his deployment of images, and memoirist and current Canadian Liberal Party leader Michael Ignatieff, who does not allow such instability. Bowen's exposition of the Christian "middle space," though certainly pluralistic, seems to posit it as invariably culturally recuperative--which is hardly obvious. Nonetheless, this nuanced, reflective work will benefit even those who do not share Bowen's interpretive assumptions. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. N. Birns The New School

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