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Picture of Voices and Silence in the Contemporary Novel in English

Voices and Silence in the Contemporary Novel in English

Editor(s): Vanessa Guignery
Contributors: Christina Mesa, Sacksick, Christina Mesa, Isabelle Rebrin, J. Misratti Barak, Saubion Sonia, Monica Latheau,

Book Description

This volume examines the various processes at work in expressing silence and excessive speech in contemporary novels in English, covering the whole spectrum from effusiveness to muteness. Even if in the postmodern episteme language is deemed inadequate for speaking the unspeakable, contemporary authors still rely on voice as a mode of representation and a performative tool, and exploit silence not only as a sign of absence, block or withdrawal, but also as a token of presence and resistance. Logorrhoea and reticence are not necessarily antithetical as compulsive verbosity may work as a smokescreen to sidestep the real issues, while silences and gaps may reveal more than they hide. By submitting their texts to both expansion and retention, hypertrophy and aphasia, writers persistently test the limits of language and its ability to make sense of individual and collective stories. The present volume analyses the complex poetics of silence and speech in fiction from the 1960’s to the present, with special focus on Will Self, Graham Swift, John Fowles, Kazuo Ishiguro, Jenny Diski, Lionel Shriver, Michèle Roberts, Margaret Atwood, Jonathan Safran Foer, Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Zadie Smith, Jamaica Kincaid, Ryhaan Shah and J.M. Coetzee.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-1247-4
ISBN-10: 1-4438-1247-1
Date of Publication: 01/09/2009
Pages / Size: 299 / A5
Price: £39.99


Vanessa Guignery is Professor of Contemporary English Literature and Postcolonial Literature at the École Normale Supérieure in Lyon (France). She is the author of several books and essays on the work of Julian Barnes, including The Fiction of Julian Barnes (Macmillan, 2006), and Conversations with Julian Barnes (Mississippi Press, 2009), co-edited with Ryan Roberts. She has published a monograph on B.S. Johnson (Sorbonne UP, 2009) as well as articles on Jeanette Winterson, David Lodge, Jonathan Coe, Alain de Botton, Michèle Roberts, Arundhati Roy and Anita Desai.