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The concept of world and the practice of world creation have been with us since antiquity, but they are now achieving unequalled prominence. In this timely anthology of subcreation studies, an international roster of contributors come together to examine the rise and structure of worlds, the practice of world-building, and the audience's reception of imaginary worlds. Including essays written by world-builders A.K. Dewdney and Alex McDowell and offering critical analyses of popular worlds such as those of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and Minecraft, Revisiting Imaginary Worlds provides readers with a broad and interdisciplinary overview of the issues and concepts involved in imaginary worlds across media platforms.
This book offers (in the first six chapters) critical readings of six novels by China Miéville, which are followed (in the seventh chapter) by a theoretical meditation on some of the conceptual issues raised by and engaged in the Miéville oeuvre. There comes a moment in The City & the City, though it is not necessarily the same moment for every reader, when you realise that Beszel and Ul Qoma are not separate realms but the same space divided. Likewise, art and idea are often subject to absurd partition, but then along comes an author such as China Miéville who shows them to be, in truth, indissoluble. So argues Freedman's inordinately readable and just as rigorous account of Miéville's major novels. Highly recommended. (Mark Bould, University of the West of England) Freedman offers a compelling interpretation of Miéville's novels informed equally by an impressive range of literary influences and a carefully documented exploration of historical antecedents. Seeing Miéville's genre hybridity as an illustration of the power of dialectical thinking, Freedman illuminates the complex utopian project of Miéville's fiction. Freedman is one of our finest critical voices on Miéville, one of the most important speculative writers of the 21st century. (Sherryl Vint, University of California, Riverside)
The Handbook systematically charts the trajectory of the English novel from its emergence as the foremost literary genre in the early twentieth century to its early twenty-first century status of eccentric eminence in new media environments. Systematic chapters address ̒The English Novel as a Distinctly Modern Genreʼ, ̒The Novel in the Economy’, ̒Genres’, ̒Gender’ (performativity, masculinities, feminism, queer), and ̒The Burden of Representationʼ (class and ethnicity). Extended contextualized close readings of more than twenty key texts from Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness (1899) to Tom McCarthy’s Satin Island (2015) supplement the systematic approach and encourage future research by providing overviews of reception and theoretical perspectives.
Science Fiction, Alien Encounters, and the Ethics of Posthumanism offers a typology of alien encounters and addresses a range of texts including classic novels of alien encounter by H.G. Wells and Robert Heinlein; recent blockbusters by Greg Bear, Octavia Butler and Sheri Tepper; and experimental science fiction by Peter Watts and Housuke Nojiri.
The chapters in this collection respond to the range of interests that have shaped Miéville's fiction from his influential role in contemporary genre debates, to his ability to pose serious philosophical questions about state control, revolutionary struggle, regimes of apartheid, and the function of international law in a globalized world. This collection demonstrates how Miéville's fictions offer a striking example of contemporary literature's ability to imagine alternatives to neoliberal capitalism at a time of crisis for leftist ideas within the political realm.
THE WILEY BLACKWELL COMPANION TO CONTEMPORARY BRITISH AND IRISH LITERATURE An insightful guide to the exploration of modern British and Irish literature The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature is a must-have guide for anyone hoping to navigate the world of new British and Irish writing. Including modern authors and poets from the 1960s through to the 21st century, the Companion provides a thorough overview of contemporary poetry, fiction, and drama by some of the most prominent and noteworthy writers. Seventy-three comprehensive chapters focus on individual authors as well as such topics as Englishness and identity, contemporary Science Fiction, Black writing in Britain, crime fiction, and the influence of globalization on British and Irish Literature. Written in four parts, The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature includes comprehensive examinations of individual authors, as well as a variety of themes that have come to define the contemporary period: ethnicity, gender, nationality, and more. A thorough guide to the main figures and concepts in contemporary literature from Britain and Ireland, this two-volume set: Includes studies of notable figures such as Seamus Heaney and Angela Carter, as well as more recently influential writers such as Zadie Smith and Sarah Waters. Covers topics such as LGBT fiction, androgyny in contemporary British Literature, and post-Troubles Northern Irish Fiction Features a broad range of writers and topics covered by distinguished academics Includes an analysis of the interplay between individual authors and the major themes of the day, and whether an examination of the latter enables us to appreciate the former. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Contemporary British and Irish Literature provides essential reading for students as well as academics seeking to learn more about the history and future direction of contemporary British and Irish Literature.
Stay gathers together 100,000 words of reviews, plus short fiction by John Clute, and was originally published to coincide with Loncon3 (the 2014 World Science Fiction Convention) at which he was one of the Guests of Honour. Also included is a complete reprint of the text of The Darkening Garden.
Deleuze, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty: The Logic and Pragmatics of Creation, Affective Life, and Perception offers the only full-length examination of the relationships between Deleuze, Bergson and Merleau-Ponty. Henri Bergson (1859–1941), Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908-1961), and Gilles Deleuze (1925–1995) succeeded one another as leading voices in French philosophy over a span of 136 years. Their relationship to one another's work involved far more than their overlapping lifetimes. Bergson became both the source of philosophical insight and a focus of criticism for Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze. Deleuze criticized Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology as well as his interest in cognitive and natural science. Author Dorothea Olkowski points out that each of these philosophers situated their thought in relation to their understandings of crucial developments and theories taken up in the history and philosophy of science, and this has been difficult for Continental philosophy to grasp. She articulates the differences between these philosophers with respect to their disparate approaches to the physical sciences and with how their views of science function in relation to their larger philosophical projects. In Deleuze, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, Olkowski examines the critical areas of the structure of time and memory, the structure of consciousness, and the question of humans' relation to nature. She reveals that these philosophers are working from inside one another's ideas and are making strong claims about time, consciousness, reality, and their effects on humanity that converge and diverge. The result is a clearer picture of the intertwined workings of Continental philosophy and its fundamental engagement with the sciences.
Neuroscience tells us that the brain is nothing but a metaphor machine capable of extracting meaning from a chaotic reality. Following Agamben, Arendt, Benjamin and Žižek, a theory of violence can be established according to which violence is a reaction on the part of the individual to the frustration generated by having her metaphor machine suppressed by the mythic narrative of the Law. In opposition to mythic violence, Benjamin posits the justice of divine violence. Divine justice is an excess of life, the very uniqueness of the metaphor machine. The individual is affected by a difficulty to communicate her metaphor machine to the Other, as if it were inexpressible. This work explores how the characters in the works of David Foster Wallace, Cormac MacCarthy, J. G. Ballard, Bret Easton Ellis, Chuck Palahniuk, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Maurice G. Dantec and China Mieville suffer from these limits of language and the constrictions of the Law. Through violence they look for their individual Voice, intended as their will-to-say, the ‘pure taking place of language’ (Agamben). In their struggle to be heard these characters are however deaf to the Voice of the Other. There is a need for a new Ethics of Narratives expressed through an Epic of the Voice founded on the will-to-listen, along the lines of the concept of the posthuman theorized by Rosi Braidotti. Here subjectivity is a process of constant autopoiesis dependent on the relationship the individual has with the Other and the environment around her, that is, in the reciprocal will-to-say and will-to-listen. Human beings can meet in the taking-place of language, in the place before the suppressive language of the Law is even born, in a meeting of Voices.
Pragmatics of Fiction provides systematic orientation in the emerging field of studying pragmatics with/in fictional data. It provides an authoritative and accessible overview of this versatile new field in its methodological and theoretical richness. Giving center stage to fictional language allows scholars to review key concepts in sociolinguistics such as genre, style, voice, stance, dialogue, participation structure or features of orality and literariness. The contributors explore language as one of the creative tools to craft story worlds and characters by drawing on concepts such as regional, social and ethnic language variation, as well as multilingualism. Themes such as emotion, taboo language or impoliteness in fiction receive attention just as the challenges of translation and dubbing, the creation of past and future languages, the impact of fictional language on language change or the fuzzy boundaries of narratives. Each contribution, written by a leading specialist, gives a succinct, representative and up-to-date overview of research questions, theories, methods and recent developments in the field.