Structuring the Void

The Struggle for Subject in Contemporary American Fiction

Structuring the Void
Book Pages: 192 Illustrations: Published: February 1992

Subjects
American Studies, Literature and Literary Studies > Literary Criticism

If, as the literary theorists of postmodernism contend, “content” does not exist, then how can fiction continue to be written? Jerome Klinkowitz, himself a veteran practitioner and theorist of fiction, addresses this question in Structuring the Void, an account of what today’s novelists and short story writers do when they produce a fictive work. Klinkowitz’s focus is on the way in which writers have turned this lack of content itself into subject matter, and, by thus “structuring the void,” have created a new form of fiction.
Among the writers Klinkowitz discusses are Richard Brautigan, Kurt Vonnegut, Max Apple, Saul Bellow, Erica Jong, Susan Quist, Gerald Rosen, Rob Swigart, and Grace Paley. He shows how, in the absence of subject matter, these writers persist in the act of structuring—by organizing autobiography as a narrative device, ritualizing national history and popular culture, or formalizing a comic response to a new imaginative state, the state of California. Klinkowitz also considers subjects such as gender and war, which, though they cannot be represented, nevertheless exercise contraints on a writer’s intention to structure.
What emerges from Klinkowitz’s analysis is a clear sense of what today’s fiction—and fiction writing—is about. As such, Structuring the Void will prove invaluable to anyone with an interest in contemporary literature.

Praise

Buy

Availability: Not available
Price: $94.95
Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Jerome Klinkowitz is Professor of English and a University Distinguished Scholar at the University of Northern Iowa.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-8223-1205-5
Publicity material

Top