By Emily Horton (auth.)
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Additional info for Contemporary Crisis Fictions: Affect and Ethics in the Modern British Novel
While this narrative can be explained both fictionally and scientifically, as an example of either ‘wishful thinking’ or physical indeterminacy, a better understanding involves mixed considerations, combining literature’s already initiated temporal concern with new scientific theory regarding quantum gaps and time leaps. In this way, the text defends an innovative conception of holistic knowledge, as at once factual and creative. A similar argument can be made for Enduring Love, where despite Joe’s scientific knowledge, literature provides a necessary critical check to his rationalising tendencies.
And Swift reflects that his ‘narrators are in the middle of their crisis in one way or another. 6 Constructing a New Genre 43 Again here, crisis functions to underpin the narrative agenda, tying this to a project of subjective and ethical discovery. For all of these authors then, at least from their own perspectives on their work, crisis displaces metanarrative as the focus of textual interest, even as these narrators do negotiate the difficulties of historical, scientific and cultural knowledge within the contemporary context in their endeavours to cope with crisis.
In particular, the notions of ‘Orientalism’, ‘hybridity’, ‘the subaltern’ and ‘minority discourse’ advanced by Edward Said, Homi Bhabha, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak and Abdul R. 10 Thus, Lewis contends, ‘Ishiguro is rightly suspicious of being lumped with Mo, Emecheta and others simply because he has a foreign-sounding name. 13, 14). In a similar reading, Bruce King sees Ishiguro as part of ‘the new internationalism within British literature’, one which ‘reflects the way in which modern life is characterised by an awareness of new nations, the ease of international travel and communications, the global literary market, the worldwide use of English, and the possibility that assimilation into British culture is no longer an ideal for many who live in England’ (King, 1991, p.