1st Edition

Critical Perspectives on Max Porter

Edited By David Rudrum, Paweł Wojtas, Wojciech Drąg Copyright 2024

    Max Porter is amongst the most exciting British writers of the twenty-first century. His striking books straddle the divide between poetry and prose as deftly as they combine literary experimentation with mainstream success. This book is the first study of his works to date, which encompass Grief Is the Thing with Feathers (2015), Lanny (2019), The Death of Francis Bacon (2021) and Shy (2023). It features a broad interdisciplinary array of essays (by poets, novelists, literary critics, art historians and educationalists), which collectively place Porter’s works in their contexts, shed light on his artistic vision and interpret his texts from a range of critical perspectives. The volume’s 12 chapters combine readings of the literary, formal, intertextual and experimental aspects of Porter’s works with discussions of their relation to social, political and ethical questions, whilst placing them in dialogue with highly topical critical and cultural debates, such as Englishness in the aftermath of Brexit, ecocriticism, affectivity and posthumanism.

    1. The Rise and Rise of Max Porter

    Wojciech Drąg


    2. Innocence, Experience and Other Childly Songs in Max Porter’s Works

    Clémentine Beauvais


    3. “Pitiful narrative creatures”: Grief-Haunted Temporalities in the Work of Max Porter

    Lindsey Drager


    4. “An English totem”: Constructions of Englishness in Lanny

    Julie Irigaray


    5. “Peace, my stranger is a tree”: Compassionate Experimentalism in Lanny

    Alex J. Calder


    6. Narrative Vision and Scopic Injustice in Lanny

    Paweł Wojtas


    7. “Is this one of your endings?” Lanny and the Humanist Limits of Narrative Possibility

    Tom Z. Bradstreet


    8. Lost Futures and Ecophobia in Lanny

    Alice Durocher


    9. Language as Percussion: The Brutal Style of The Death of Francis Bacon

    Joseph Darlington


    10. Ut Pictura Poesis: Speaking Paintings in The Death of Francis Bacon

    Robert Kusek and Wojciech Szymański


    11. Ornithology as Intertextuality: A Guide to Max Porter’s Birds (and Where to Find Them)

    David Rudrum and James Underwood


    12. A Colloquy on Shy

    David Rudrum and Paweł Wojtas


    David Rudrum is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Huddersfield. Most of his work explores the interdisciplinary relations between contemporary philosophy and literature. Previous publications include New Directions in Philosophy and Literature (2019), Supplanting the Postmodern (2015) and Stanley Cavell and the Claim of Literature (2013).

    Paweł Wojtas is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Artes Liberales, University of Warsaw. His research interests include contemporary English and related literature, as well as literary and cultural disability studies. He is the author of Narratives of Disability and Illness in the Fiction of J. M. Coetzee (2024).

    Wojciech Drąg is Associate Professor at the University of Wrocław in Poland. He is the author of Collage in Twenty-First-Century Literature in English: Art of Crisis (2020) and Revisiting Loss: Memory, Trauma and Nostalgia in the Novels of Kazuo Ishiguro (2014).