Aggressive Fictions: Reading the Contemporary American Novel by Kathryn Hume

By Kathryn Hume

A widespread grievance opposed to modern American fiction is that too frequently it places off readers in methods they locate tricky to fathom. Books comparable to Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho, Katherine Dunn's Geek Love, and Don DeLillo's Underworld look made up our minds to disappointed, disgust, or annoy their readers-or to disorient them by means of shunning conventional plot styles and personality improvement. Kathryn Hume calls such works "aggressive fiction." Why could authors probability alienating their readers-and why should still readers persevere? having a look past the theory-based justifications that critics frequently supply for such fiction, Hume bargains a common-sense advisor for the typical reader who desires to higher comprehend and take pleasure in books that would another way look tricky to enjoy.

In her trustworthy and sympathetic advisor, Hume considers approximately 40 works of modern American fiction, together with books via William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Chuck Palahniuk, and Cormac McCarthy. Hume gathers "attacks" at the reader into different types in keeping with narrative constitution and content material. Writers of a few competitive fictions may need to frustrate effortless interpretation or feedback. Others may perhaps attempt to set off yes responses in readers. severe content material deployed as a tactic for distancing and alienating can really produce a contradictory impact: for readers who discover ways to sit back and flow, the outcome could be pleasure instead of revulsion.

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