Reading the graphic surface : the presence of the book in prose fiction

White, G ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4826-5190 2005, Reading the graphic surface : the presence of the book in prose fiction , Manchester University Press, Manchester.

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Abstract

This book critically engages with the visual appearance of prose fiction where it is manipulated by authors, from alterations in typography to the deconstruction of the physical form of the book. It reappraises the range of effects it is possible to create through the use of graphic devices and explores why literary criticism has dismissed such features as either unreadable experimental gimmicks or, more recently, as examples of the worst kind of postmodernist decadence. Through the examination of problematical texts which utilise the graphic surface in innovative and unusual ways, including Samuel Beckett’s Watt, B. S. Johnson’s Albert Angelo, Christine Brooke-Rose’s Thru and Alasdair Gray’s Lanark, this book demonstrates that an awareness of the graphic surface can make significant contributions to interpretation.
The introductory chapters show both how and why the graphic surface has been neglected, examine critical assumptions about the transformation of manuscript to novel, tackle theoretical obstacles to the perception of the graphic surface and investigate critical ‘blindness’ to its mimetic usage. The later chapters offer substantial, extended readings of key works by four significant authors. Each of these chapters identifies and analyses the weaknesses of previous criticism and attempts to fully account for the use of the graphic surface in new interpretations of the novels in question. This book will be of interest to anyone intrigued by novels which test the possibilities of the book as a medium for prose fiction from those studying literature to the adventurous reader.

Item Type: Book
Themes: Subjects / Themes > N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Subjects / Themes > N Fine Arts > NE Print media
Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Publisher: Manchester University Press
Refereed: Yes
ISBN: 0719069688; 9780719069680
Funders: None
Depositing User: Dr Glyn White
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2019 12:50
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2019 12:50
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/11569

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