Joseph Tabbi University of Minnesota Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS374.P64T33 2002 | Dewey Decimal 813.509113
The first comprehensive look at the effect of new technologies on contemporary American fiction.
Bringing together cognitive science and literary analysis to map a new "media ecology," Cognitive Fictions limns an evolutionary process in which literature must find its place in an artificial environment partly produced and thoroughly mediated by technological means. Joseph Tabbi provides a penetrating account of a developing consciousness emerging from the struggle between print and electronic systems of communication.
Central to Tabbi's work is the relation between the arrangement of communicating "modules" that cognitive science uses to describe the human mind and the arrangement of visual, verbal, and aural media in our technological culture. He looks at particular literary works by Thomas Pynchon, Richard Powers, David Markson, Lynne Tillman, Paul Auster, and others as both inscriptions of thought consistent with distributed cognitive models, and as self-creations out of the media environment.
The first close reading of contemporary American writing in the light of systems theory and cognitive science, Cognitive Fictions makes needed sense of how the moment-by-moment operations of human thought find narrative form in a world increasingly defined by competing and often incompatible representations.
Joseph Tabbi is associate professor of English at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
What accounts for the power of stories to both entertain and illuminate? This question has long compelled the attention of storytellers and students of literature alike, and over the past several decades it has opened up broader dialogues about the nature of culture and interpretation. This third edition of the bestselling Essentials of the Theory of Fiction provides a comprehensive view of the theory of fiction from the nineteenth century through modernism and postmodernism to the present. It offers a sample of major theories of fictional technique while emphasizing recent developments in literary criticism. The essays cover a variety of topics, including voice, point of view, narration, sequencing, gender, and race. Ten new selections address issues such as oral memory in African American fiction, temporality, queer theory, magical realism, interactive narratives, and the effect of virtual technologies on literature. For students and generalists alike, Essentials of the Theory of Fiction is an invaluable resource for understanding how fiction works.
Contributors. M. M. Bakhtin, John Barth, Roland Barthes, Wayne Booth, John Brenkman, Peter Brooks, Catherine Burgass, Seymour Chatman, J. Yellowlees Douglas, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Wendy B. Faris, Barbara Foley, E. M. Forster, Joseph Frank, Joanne S. Frye, William H. Gass, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Gérard Genette, Ursula K. Heise, Michael J. Hoffman, Linda Hutcheon, Henry James, Susan S. Lanser, Helen Lock, Georg Lukács, Patrick D. Murphy, Ruth Ronen, Joseph Tabbi, Jon Thiem, Tzvetan Todorov, Virginia Woolf
Finalist, 2016 Society for Midland Authors Award for Biography & Memoir
During his lifetime, William Gaddis (1922–1998) evaded biographical questions, never read from his work publicly, and didn’t allow his photograph to appear on his books. Before his novel J R (1975) won Gaddis the National Book Award and some measure of renown, he had given up the bohemian world of 1950s Greenwich Village for a series of corporate jobs that both paid the bills and provided an inside view of the encroachment of market values into every corner of American culture.
By illustrating the interconnectedness of Gaddis’s life and work, Tabbi, among his foremost interpreters, demystifies the “difficult author” and shows a writer who was as attuned as any to the way Americans talk, and who sensitively chronicled the gradual commodification of artistic endeavor. Illuminating, heartbreaking, and masterful, Tabbi’s book gives us the most subtly drawn portrait to date of one of the twentieth century’s seminal novelists.
Celebrates and illuminates the legacy of one of America’s most innovative and consequential 20th century novelists.
In 2002, following the posthumous publication of William Gaddis’s collected nonfiction and his final novel and Jonathan Franzen’s lengthy attack on him in The New Yorker, a number of partisan articles appeared in support of Gaddis’s legacy. In a review in The London Review of Books, critic Hal Foster suggested a reason for disparate responses to Gaddis’s reputation: Gaddis’s unique hybridity, his ability to “write in the gap between two dispensations,—between science and literature, theory and narrative, and —different orders of linguistic imagination.—
Gaddis (1922-1998) is often cited as the link between literary modernism and postmodernism in the United States. His novels—The Recognitions, JR, Carpenter’s Gothic, and A Frolic of His Own—are notable in the ways that they often restrict themselves to the language and communication systems of the worlds he portrays. Issues of corporate finance, the American legal system, economics, simulation and authenticity, bureaucracy, transportation, and mass communication permeate his narratives in subject, setting, and method. The essays address subjects as diverse as cybernetics theory, the law, media theory, race and class, music, and the perils and benefits of globalization. The collection also contains a memoir by Gaddis’s son, an unpublished interview with Gaddis from just after the publication of JR, and an essay on the Gaddis archive, newly opened at Washington University in St. Louis.
The editors acknowledge that we live in an age of heightened global awareness. But as these essays testify, few American writers have illuminated as poignantly or incisively just how much the systemic forces of capitalism and mass communication have impacted individual lives and identity—imparting global dimensions to private pursuits and desires—than William Gaddis.
Contributors:Normal0falsefalsefalseEN-USX-NONEX-NONEMicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Crystal Alberts, Klaus Benesch, Nicholas Brown, Stephen Burn, Jeff Bursey, Anne Furlong, Tom LeClair, Joseph McElroy, Steven Moore, Stephen Schryer, Rone Shavers, Nicholas Spencer, Joseph Tabbi,Michael Wutz, Anja Zeidler