Outside postmodernism : B.S. Johnson before, during and after

White, G ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4826-5190 2022, 'Outside postmodernism : B.S. Johnson before, during and after' , in: The Cambridge Companion to British Postmodern Fiction , Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. (In Press)

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This chapter looks in detail at the work and critical reception of a single author from 1960 to 2015 paying particular attention to the influence postmodernism has had on their reputation. The writer who will be the focus of this chapter is B.S. Johnson (1933-1973). Johnson was at the forefront of the small number of so-called experimental writers working in Britain during the 1960s, and established a position outside the literary mainstream by loudly railing against its staid conventionality. Johnson’s work was noted for its high degree of self-reflexivity and its use of the visual and physical form of the novel in varied ways before the term postmodernism was critically defined. He was therefore evaluated by literary critics in the 1980s and 1990s as a potential entrant to the postmodern canon but they made little headway in reconciling his practice and preachments with postmodern theory and Johnson’s legacy became increasingly marginalised. This rejection has been re-evaluated since the millennium as critical criteria have again shifted. During each stage Johnson has remained, for better or worse, outside postmodernism and thus provides an excellent case study to illustrate how contemporary concerns shape the critical landscape.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Nicol, B
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: Cambridge Guide to British Postmodernism
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Depositing User: Dr Glyn White
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2017 08:15
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2022 09:45
URI: https://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/43956

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