Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Short Story in English

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Editor: Jorge Sacido
How can the short story help to redefine modernism, postmodernism and their interrelationship? What is the status of the short story in modern literary history? These are the central questions that the essays collected in this volume try to answer from different perspectives through readings of short fiction in English and accounts of the genre’s theorisations. The essays by a group of international scholars tackle theoretical issues that are central in approaches to both “movements” such as periodisation, autonomy, high vs. popular literature, totality vs. fragmentation, surface vs. depth, otherness, representation, and, above all, the subject and its vicissitudes. Because it blends theory-based arguments into the approaches to the short fiction of mainly canonical authors (Joyce, Woolf, Lewis, Ballard, Carter, Rushdie, or Wallace), Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Short Story in English is of interest not only to readers and scholars of the short story, but also to those coming from the fields of literary theory and literary history.
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Biographical Note

Jorge Sacido took his PhD from the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and is at present Senior Lecturer in English at this university. He has published on Conrad, Woolf, Žižek and British popular culture, and has co-edited National Identities and European Literatures (2008). He supervised a research project on modernism and postmodernism in the English short story funded by the Galician Regional Government (2008-2011).

Review Quotes

"The present volume is an inspiring collection of essays which succeeds in engaging the reader in a thought-provoking discussion on issues which are presently at the core of literary and artistic debates, such as the definition and delimitations of the short story, as well as the ideas and problematics of modernist and postmodernist creation.
[…]
Sacido’s collection of essays becomes, therefore, a fundamental work of reference central to any discussion not only on literary theory and history, but also on the status of cultural forms of represeantation."
– Isabel Andrés Cuevas, University of Grenada, in miscelánea: a journal of English and American studies 50 (2014) pp. 173-7

“[…]subversive quality […] What is more, Sacido’s essay collection offers an original and ground-breaking approach to the role of the short story in modernist and postmodernist aesthetics that neither specialists in the short story genre nor those interested in twentieth century literature or criticism should miss.”
– Carmen Lara Rallo (Universidad de Málaga), in ATLANTIS - Journal of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies 36.1 (2014), pp. 179-183

“[…] its daring variety, its capacity to challenge hackneyed binary notions about Modernism and Postmodernism, and, above all, its critical perceptiveness turn it into profitable reading for all those who feel inclined to believe that the short story is a genre of and for the future.”
– José Antonio Álvarez Amorós (Universidad de Alicante), in International Journal of English Studies 14.1 (2014), pp. 125-130

Table of contents

Acknowledgements
Jorge Sacido: Introduction
Jorge Sacido: Modernism, Postmodernism and the Short Story
Refocusing “Modernism” through the Short Story
Adrian Hunter: The Short Story and the Difficulty of Modernism
José María Díaz: Allegory and Fragmentation in Wyndham Lewis’s The Wild Body and Djuna Barnes’s A Book
The Subject Vanishes: Modernist Contraction, Postmodernist Effacement and the Short Story Genre
Tim Armstrong: Man in a Sidecar: Madness, Totality and Narrative Drive in the Short Story
Fred Botting: Stories, Spectres, Screens
Paul March-Russell: The Writing Machine: J. G. Ballard in Modern and Postmodern Short Story Theory
The Subject Reappears: Postcolonial Conflict and the Other’s Stories
Esther Sánchez-Pardo: Postmodernist Tales from the Couch
J. Manuel Barbeito and María Lozano: Mind the Gap: Modernism in Salman Rushdie’s Postmodern Short Stories
Manuela Palacios: One anOther: Englishness in Contemporary Irish Short Fiction
Short Notes from the Contemporary Underground
José Francisco Fernández: A Move against the Dinosaurs: The New Puritans and the Short Story
Contributors
Index

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