Contemporary American Fiction

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Cyborg – The “illegitimate offspring” of “militarism and patriarchal capitalism, not to mention state socialism.” -Donna Harraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” 1991

Irony – “It is the literary correlative of the existential ethic; it implies distance, ambiguity, the interplay of views.  It is the form of containment, a self-created pattern of contradition, the union of the terrible and the ludicrous.  Irony is all the certainty we can allow ourselves where uncertainties prevail.  Yet irony also commits itself to that which it criticizes.  It is, at bottom, not the form of negation but rather the startl shape of hope when death and absurdity are finally recognized.” -Ihab Hassan, “The Character of Post-War Fiction in America,” 1962

Pastiche – “Pastiche is, like parody, the imitation of a peculiar or unique style, the wearing of a stylistic mask, speech in a dead language: but it is a neutral practice of such mimicry, without parody’s ulterior motive, without the satiric impulse, without laughter, without that still latent feeling that there exists something normal compared to which what is being imitated is rather comic.” – Frederic Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society,” 1961


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