By Samuel Cohen
During this daring ebook, Samuel Cohen asserts the literary and historic significance of the interval among the autumn of the Berlin wall and that of the dual Towers in big apple. With fresh readability, he examines six Nineties novels and post-9/11 novels that discover the effect of the tip of the chilly conflict: Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, Roth's American Pastoral, Morrison's Paradise, O'Brien's within the Lake of the Woods, Didion's the very last thing He sought after, Eugenides's Middlesex, Lethem's fort of Solitude, and DeLillo's Underworld. Cohen emphasizes how those works reconnect the prior to a gift that's sarcastically partial to denying that connection. Exploring the methods principles approximately paradise and pastoral, distinction and exclusion, innocence and righteousness, triumph and trauma deform the tales americans inform themselves approximately their nation’s prior, After the tip of historical past demanding situations us to reassess those works in a brand new gentle, providing clean, insightful readings of what are destined to be vintage works of literature. while, Cohen enters into the theoretical dialogue approximately postmodern old realizing. Throwing his hat within the ring with strength and magnificence, he confronts not just Francis Fukuyama’s triumphalist reaction to the autumn of the Soviet Union but in addition the opposite literary and political “end of background” claims positioned forth by means of such theorists as Fredric Jameson and Walter Benn Michaels. In an easy, affecting sort, After the top of heritage deals us a brand new imaginative and prescient for the functions and confines of up to date fiction.
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Extra info for After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s
Linda Hutcheon, among others, has disagreed with this conclusion, claiming that the “blunt, overt work of historical redescription performed by many postmodern texts ought to be viewed as a complicated narrative strategy and not, as Jameson would hold, a symptom of an enervated nostalgia” (176). Again, Hutcheon calls this kind of work “historiographic metafiction” and reads it as able to confront reality, after a fashion, though she is not a believer in reality as a single, graspable entity in the way Jameson (as a Marxist) must be.
The novel ends in part 3, “Last Transit,” with their return to England, Dixon’s death, and Mason’s eventual relocation to America. The tale is told by the Rev. Wicks Cherrycoke, who was a member of the expedition and who has come to stay (and stay and stay) with family on the occasion of Mason’s demise in 1786. Mason, as astronomer, and Dixon, as surveyor, are professionally dedicated to the measuring, charting, and drawing of lines. The task that occupies the majority of their time in the novel is to plot and cut an eight-yard-wide line.
Pynchon, Mason & Dixon T he story goes that Thomas Pynchon was heavily involved in the graphic design of his 1997 novel Mason & Dixon, inside and out. In particular, he is said to have been involved in the making of the novel’s cover (Mxyzptlk). The dust jacket comes in two parts, a paper jacket and a transparent overlay. The paper jacket features the title, in an eighteenth-century–looking typeface, magnified and spread across the front and back. On the front of the transparent overlay are the more legibly sized author name and title running across the top and bottom.
After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s by Samuel Cohen