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Styling the Present: Literature and the Contemporary


23 Septembre 2022


Dr Niklas Fischer, UNIFR

M. Jole Fontanesi, UNIFR


Dr Niklas Fischer, UNIFR

Prof. Peter Boxall, Uni Sussex, GB

Dr Victor Lindblom, UNIFR


Since its inception, the novel has both reflected and shaped the understanding of the contemporary. Nineteenth-century realism is both a product of emerging scientific methodologies for describing and making sense of the world as much as it is such a tool itself. Modernist experiments in form reflect the perceived fragmentation of the present while the modernist proclivity for old literary forms seeks to contain and combat this fragmentation and its concomitant sense of alienation. Postmodernism's generic eclecticism performs the supposed death of metanarratives at the same time as it provides epistemological and philosophical anchors for a readership not so much drowning but lying face down in the shallows of consumer capitalism. Most recently, the advent of the so-called Internet novel is meant to represent the effect of the use of digital media on the mind as much as it shapes our understanding of this effect. Despite the difficulty of describing, let alone defining, the contemporary or style, there is little doubt that major stylistic trends reflect a preoccupation with the contemporary reality of a given age. "Styling the Present" seeks to investigate the nature and limitations of these developments with a focus on contemporary literature but welcomes contributions from scholars concerned with the relation between style and contemporary reality from any period in novel studies. Contributions on the relation between the contemporary and literature from poetry and drama studies are also welcome.





Deadline for registration 13.09.2022
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