By Samuel Cohen
During this daring publication, Samuel Cohen asserts the literary and ancient value of the interval among the autumn of the Berlin wall and that of the dual Towers in ny. With fresh readability, he examines six Nineties novels and post-9/11 novels that discover the effect of the top of the chilly struggle: Pynchon's Mason & Dixon, Roth's American Pastoral, Morrison's Paradise, O'Brien's within the Lake of the Woods, Didion's the very last thing He sought after, Eugenides's Middlesex, Lethem's fort of Solitude, and DeLillo's Underworld. Cohen emphasizes how those works reconnect the earlier to a gift that's sarcastically partial to denying that connection. Exploring the methods principles approximately paradise and pastoral, distinction and exclusion, innocence and righteousness, triumph and trauma deform the tales american citizens inform themselves approximately their nation’s prior, After the tip of historical past demanding situations us to think again those works in a brand new mild, providing clean, insightful readings of what are destined to be vintage works of literature. even as, Cohen enters into the theoretical dialogue approximately postmodern historic realizing. Throwing his hat within the ring with strength and magnificence, he confronts not just Francis Fukuyama’s triumphalist reaction to the autumn of the Soviet Union but in addition the opposite literary and political “end of background” claims placed forth through such theorists as Fredric Jameson and Walter Benn Michaels. In a simple, affecting sort, After the tip of background deals us a brand new imaginative and prescient for the services and confines of up to date fiction.
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Additional info for After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s
I felt that if I ran fast enough, I could gain altitude, and fly. (559–60) The occupancy of America by all that reason would deny dramatizes its status as the land of possibility. The loss of these phenomena, their eviction, dramatizes the loss of this possibility. Dixon’s visit to Hollow Earth makes plain that it is eviction: mason & dixon and the amper sand 43 “Once the solar parallax is known,” they told me, “once the necessary Degrees are measur’d, and the size and weight and shape of the Earth are calculated inescapably at last, all this will vanish.
The loss of these phenomena, their eviction, dramatizes the loss of this possibility. Dixon’s visit to Hollow Earth makes plain that it is eviction: mason & dixon and the amper sand 43 “Once the solar parallax is known,” they told me, “once the necessary Degrees are measur’d, and the size and weight and shape of the Earth are calculated inescapably at last, all this will vanish. ” (741) Even though we know such a world could not exist, we still feel its impending loss; it is as if the loss of possibility is doubled.
124) The line between them, the binary expectation set up by the juxta position of their names and the difference in their characters, becomes instead a connection, a relationship between two men who still remain distinct.
After the End of History: American Fiction in the 1990s by Samuel Cohen