Analog Fictions for the Digital Age

December 2012
248 pages
9x6 in
European Studies in North American Literature and Culture
ISBN: 9781571135407
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Camden House
BISAC LIT006000, PHO005000, PHI040000

Analog Fictions for the Digital Age

Literary Realism and Photographic Discourses in Novels after 2000

Julia Breitbach

Shows how current photographic discourse can illuminate the analysis of recent literary realism and proposes a truly original photographic hermeneutics for literary study.
Both realist, post-postmodernist aesthetics in the twenty-first century and the legacy of analog photography in its recent digital incarnation depend on an aesthetics of trust and a sense of contingent referentiality. Julia Breitbach's innovative study demonstrates how current photographic discourse may be used as an illuminating critical idiom for the analysis of recent forms of literary realism, thus proposing a photographic hermeneutics for the study of literature. Along with a thorough critical investigation of both fields, Breitbach offers a pioneering theoretical exploration of analog and digital photography based on recent "thing theory," which she then applies to in-depth analyses of realist aesthetics in selected post-millennial novels by Don DeLillo, Michael Ondaatje, and Ali Smith, yielding fresh perspectives on the remediation between photography and literature in the twenty-first century.
An original contribution to the study of contemporary Anglophone literatures with an interdisciplinary appeal, this study will be of interest especially to scholars and students in Anglophone literary studies, comparative literature, cultural studies, and media studies.

Julia Breitbach is Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Toward a Photographic Reading of Literary Realism
Photography in the Digital Age: Critical Contexts and the Question of Realism
This Thing in the Text: Photography, Thing Theory, and the Return to Realism in Literature
Liminal Realism: Don DeLillo, The Body Artist (2001)
Domestic Realism: Ali Smith, The Accidental (2005)
Poetic Realism: Michael Ondaatje, Divisadero (2007)
Conclusion: The Way We Write Now- A Case for Realism(s)


[B]oldly assert[s] that postmodernism is waning and new forms of realism are emerging. . . . [R]aises interesting questions about the social function of literature in a postmodern age. Recommended. CHOICE

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