Bentley, NP (2018) Trailing Postmodernism: David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, Zadie Smith’s NW, and the Metamodern. English Studies. ISSN 0013-838X

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Abstract

This article examines David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas (2004) and Zadie Smith's NW (2012) against recent theories of the post-postmodern. It argues that although both texts can be seen to be gesturing towards a reconstructive relationship with the absolute cynicism and scepticism of postmodernism neither represents a sustainable discontinuity with that late-twentieth-century mode. In this context, the essay challenges readings of Mitchell and Smith as representative of a metamodernism as that term is understood by critics such as Timotheus Vermeulen, Robin van den Akker, David James and Urmila Seshagiri. By referring to models suggested by Jean-Francois Lyotard, it suggests that the metamodern, as exemplified in the cases of Mitchell and Smith, represents a subsection of the postmodern rather than a clear break with it.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor & Francis at https://doi.org/10.1080/0013838X.2018.1510611 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: literary criticism, language studies, postmodernism
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Humanities
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2018 13:53
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2018 09:39
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/4519

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