The Maximalist Novel: From Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow to Roberto Bolano's 2666

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9781501314292: The Maximalist Novel: From Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow to Roberto Bolano's 2666
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Up to the present, we have had three major attempts to define the chaotic seeming extravaganzas that take the form of doorstop-sized books. Tom LeClair, Frederick R. Karl, and Franco Moretti have laid out conflicting definitions, and Stefano Ercolino offers a splendid, different, and nuanced approach to such challenging texts as David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and Roberto Bolano's 2666. He identifies characteristics present to greater or lesser extent in all of the seven novels he discusses, and then analyzes how these characteristics function. Length, encyclopedic mode, dissonant chorality, and diegetic exuberance strain the novelistic conventions and readers' capacities to absorb, while completeness, narratorial omniscience, and paranoid imagination, all help contain or modify the centrifugal impulses. He sees these novels as dynamic balances in which chaotic drives are co-present with cosmic structuring. Where people like Edward Mendelson argued that the point of creating an encyclopedic work was to be encyclopedic for its own sake, Ercolino insists that encyclopedism is a tool, not a goal, even as multiplicity of plots and voices is not in itself a goal but part of the larger dynamic within the organization. In addition to those characteristics, he also discusses inter-semiocity, ethical commitment, and hybrid realism as contributors to these attempts to create totalizing representations of our world. Ercolino writes lucidly, and keeps his chapters short and focused. Particularly interesting is his argument that the maximalist novel is a strong hybrid between novel and epic. Ercolino's study is a good place to start if you want help making sense of a maximalist novel. Kathryn Hume, Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of English, The Pennsylvania State University, USA The Systems Novel. Mega-Novels. World Fictions. Have these terms and the characterizations they encourage had the effect of removing history and locatedness from our most ambitious literary fictions? To appreciate their significance, Stefano Ercolino urges us to reconsider contemporary fiction within literary history as a whole. A critical project no less ambitious than the big books under discussion,The Maximalist Novel offers new categories and a transatlantic context for current fiction in both its innovative and traditional aspects. Joseph Tabbi, Professor of English, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA In this ambitious study, Stefano Ercolino persuasively argues that the maximalist novel has developed out of its postmodern American roots to become a vital transnational genre for contemporary Western writers. Ercolino's multilinguism and deep knowledge of an array of national literary traditions allow him to bring into view the formal features that define this new and vibrant genre-an undertaking made all the more interesting by the apparent limitlessness and lawlessness that these novels project. Ercolino is a powerful theorist in his own right. One of the delights of this book is its dialectical engagement with key ideas from the long tradition of novel theory. Drawing from marxist, narratological and new medial studies, Ercolino brings a maximized knowledge of novel theory to his inquiry into the maximalist novel. -- Dorothy J. Hale, Professor of English, University of California, Berkeley, USA By the 'maximalist novel,' Ercolino means works that possess 'strong morphological and symbolic identity' and are defined by length, encyclopedic mode, dissonant chorality, diegetic exuberance, completeness, narratorial omniscience, paranoid imagination, intersemiocity, ethical commitment, and hybrid realism. Though Ercolino's world is 'hermeneutic frameworks' and 'intersemiocity,' some of his insights are more democratic - not reserved for those with their fingers on the theoretic pulse of Barth and Lyotard [...] Ambitious, systematic, and rigorous, Ercolino excels at close readings of the novels. Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty. -- Erik Hage, SUNY Cobbleskill CHOICE Ercolino knows his literary theory; his introduction ... makes well his case for understanding maximalism as a genre beyond the questions of mastery, encyclopaedism and national identity ... [and] it is on this theoretical ground that Ercolino's argument is at its strongest -- Kiron Ward Textual Practice Ercolino situates his contribution in response to three competing paradigms for thinking about long narrative works: Tom LeClair's 'systems novel', Franco Moretti's 'world text', and Frederick Karl's 'Mega-Novel'. Moretti's Modern Epic looms perhaps the largest among these three, and one of The Maximalist Novel's greatest strengths is in the way it extends Moretti's classic analysis to incorporate the developments in epic form ushered in by postwar writers ... [T]his book makes a valuable contribution to novel theory and should be of interest to readers intent on understanding how the big, ambitious novels of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century work. Forum for Modern Language Studies, Volume 51 Issue 2 (April 2015)

From the Publisher:

The Maximalist Novel sets out to define a new genre of contemporary fiction that developed in the United States from the early 1970s, and then gained popularity in Europe in the early twenty-first century. The maximalist novel has a very strong symbolic and morphological identity. Ercolino sets out ten particular elements which define and structure it as a complex literary form: length, an encyclopedic mode, dissonant chorality, diegetic exuberance, completeness, narrratorial omniscience, paranoid imagination, inter-semiocity, ethical commitment, and hybrid realism. These ten characteristics are common to all of the seven works that centre his discussion: Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Underworld by Don DeLillo, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, 2666 by Roberto Bolano, and 2005 dopo Cristo by the Babette Factory. Though the ten features are not all present in the same way or form in every single text, they are all decisive in defining the genre of the maximalist novel, insofar as they are systematically co-present. Taken singularly, they can be easily found both in modernist and postmodern novels, which are not maximalist. Nevertheless, it is precisely their co-presence, as well as their reciprocal articulation, which make them fundamental in demarcating the maximalist novel as a genre.

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Ercolino, Stefano
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Descripción Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. 229 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Maximalist Novel sets out to define a new genre of contemporary fiction that developed in the United States from the early 1970s, and then gained popularity in Europe in the early twenty-first century. The maximalist novel has a very strong symbolic and morphological identity. Ercolino sets out ten particular elements which define and structure it as a complex literary form: length, an encyclopedic mode, dissonant chorality, diegetic exuberance, completeness, narrratorial omniscience, paranoid imagination, inter-semiocity, ethical commitment, and hybrid realism. These ten characteristics are common to all of the seven works that centre his discussion: Gravity s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Underworld by Don DeLillo, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, 2666 by Roberto Bolano, and 2005 dopo Cristo by the Babette Factory. Though the ten features are not all present in the same way or form in every single text, they are all decisive in defining the genre of the maximalist novel, insofar as they are systematically co-present. Taken singularly, they can be easily found both in modernist and postmodern novels, which are not maximalist. Nevertheless, it is precisely their co-presence, as well as their reciprocal articulation, which make them fundamental in demarcating the maximalist novel as a genre. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9781501314292

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Ercolino, Stefano
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Descripción Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. 229 x 152 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Maximalist Novel sets out to define a new genre of contemporary fiction that developed in the United States from the early 1970s, and then gained popularity in Europe in the early twenty-first century. The maximalist novel has a very strong symbolic and morphological identity. Ercolino sets out ten particular elements which define and structure it as a complex literary form: length, an encyclopedic mode, dissonant chorality, diegetic exuberance, completeness, narrratorial omniscience, paranoid imagination, inter-semiocity, ethical commitment, and hybrid realism. These ten characteristics are common to all of the seven works that centre his discussion: Gravity s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace, Underworld by Don DeLillo, White Teeth by Zadie Smith, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, 2666 by Roberto Bolano, and 2005 dopo Cristo by the Babette Factory. Though the ten features are not all present in the same way or form in every single text, they are all decisive in defining the genre of the maximalist novel, insofar as they are systematically co-present. Taken singularly, they can be easily found both in modernist and postmodern novels, which are not maximalist. Nevertheless, it is precisely their co-presence, as well as their reciprocal articulation, which make them fundamental in demarcating the maximalist novel as a genre. Nº de ref. de la librería AAU9781501314292

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Descripción Bloomsbury Academic, 2015. Estado de conservación: New. Num Pages: 208 pages, 3 halftone illus. BIC Classification: DSBH; DSK. Category: (U) Tertiary Education (US: College). Dimension: 239 x 154 x 19. Weight in Grams: 310. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Nº de ref. de la librería V9781501314292

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