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Author Hume, Kathryn, 1945-

Title Aggressive fictions : reading the contemporary American novel / Kathryn Hume.

Publication Info. Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2012.

Item Status

Description 1 online resource (xiii, 200 pages)
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 185-193) and index.
Contents The author-reader contract -- Narrative speed in contemporary fiction -- Modalities of complaint -- Conjugations of the grotesque -- Violence -- Attacking the reader's ontological assumptions -- Why read aggressive fictions?
Summary A frequent complaint about contemporary American fiction is that too often it puts off readers in ways they find difficult to fathom. Books such as Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, and Don DeLillo's Underworld seem determined to upset, disgust, or annoy their readers--or to disorient them by shunning traditional plot patterns and character development. Kathryn Hume calls such works "aggressive fictions." Why would authors risk alienating their readers--and why should readers persevere? Looking beyond the theory-based justifications that critics often provide for such fiction, Hume offers a commonsense guide for the average reader who wants to better understand and appreciate books that might otherwise seem difficult to enjoy. In her reliable and sympathetic guide, Hume considers roughly forty works of recent American fiction, including books by William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Chuck Palahniuk, and Cormac McCarthy. Hume gathers "attacks" on the reader into categories based on narrative structure and content. Writers of some aggressive fictions may wish to frustrate easy interpretation or criticism. Others may try to induce certain responses in readers. Extreme content deployed as a tactic for distancing and alienating can actually produce a contradictory effect: for readers who learn to relax and go with the flow, the result may well be exhilaration rather than revulsion. -- Book jacket.
Local Note eBooks on EBSCOhost EBSCO eBook Subscription Academic Collection - North America
Subject Aggressiveness in literature.
American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
American fiction -- 21st century -- History and criticism.
Aversion in literature.
Chronological Term 1900-2099
Genre/Form Electronic books.
Criticism, interpretation, etc.
Other Form: Print version: Hume, Kathryn, 1945- Aggressive fictions 9780801450013 (DLC) 2011022561 (OCoLC)727704084
ISBN 9780801462870 (electronic bk.)
0801462878 (electronic bk.)