1st Edition

The Politics of Form

Edited By Sarah Copland, Greta Olson Copyright 2018
    138 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This volume enacts a project we term ‘a politics of form’, working to politicise the formal analysis of narrative in novels, life narratives, documentaries, dramas, short prose works and multimodal texts while retaining the form specificity that is distinctive of narratology. The introduction offers an overview of how to perform narrative analysis in conjunction with ideological critique, while the chapters unite the formal analysis of texts with readings that uncover how structures of social power are expressed in, as well as challenged by, aesthetic forms. The contributors address the need to develop sustained political analysis of aesthetic and narrative forms, and they articulate methods for performing such analysis while reflecting on the politics of the work they undertake. By establishing criteria to describe the politicised use of narrative forms, and by historicising narratological concepts, the volume bridges theoretical gaps between narratology, critical theory and cultural analysis, resulting in the refinement of existing narratological models. This book was originally published as a special issue of the European Journal of English Studies.

    Introduction: Towards a politics of form Greta Olson and Sarah Copland

    1. Combined and uneven styles in the modern world-system: stylistic ideology in José de Alencar, Machado de Assis and Thomas Hardy Daniel Hartley

    2. Liberal formalisms Frederik Van Dam

    3. The politics of fictionality in documentary form: The Act of Killing and The Ambassador Stefan Iversen and Henrik Skov Nielsen

    4.The politics of form in Samuel Beckett’s late theatre and prose Paul Stewart

    5. A cast never on stage before: revolution, utopia and social critique in David Caute’s Comrade Jacob and Caryl Churchill’s Light Shining in Buckinghamshire Corina Stan

    6. Towards resilience and playfulness: the negotiation of indigenous Australian identities in twentieth-century Aboriginal narratives Jan Alber

    7. Israeli–Palestinian narratives and the politics of form: reading Side by Side Susan S. Lanser and Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan


    Sarah Copland is Assistant Professor of English at MacEwan University, Edmonton, Canada. She has published work on modernist narratives, prefaces, and poetry; the new modernist studies; rhetorical and cognitive approaches to narrative theory; the politics of form; and short stories and short story theory.

    Greta Olson is Professor of English and American Literary and Cultural Studies at the University of Giessen, Germany. She is also the general editor of the European Journal of English Studies, and co-founder of the European Network for Law and Literature Research. She works and wishes to facilitate projects on cultural approaches to law, the politics of narrative, critical media and American studies, and feminism and sexuality studies.