By Nick Bentley
The Nineties proved to be a very wealthy and interesting interval for British fiction. This publication provides a clean standpoint at the different writings that seemed over the last decade, bringing jointly best teachers within the field.
content material: advent : mapping the millennium : issues and developments in modern British fiction / Nick Bentley --
From extra to the hot global order / Fred Botting --
'Refugees from time' : background, loss of life and the flight from fact in modern writing / Andrzej Gasiorek --
technological know-how and fiction within the Nineties / Patricia Waugh --
British technological know-how fiction within the Nineties : politics and style / Roger Luckhurst --
The McReal factor : personal/national id in Julian Barnes's England, England / Sarah Henstra --
our on-line world and the physique : Jeanette Winterson's The.powerbook / Sonya Andermahr --
'Fascinating violation' : Ian McEwan's childrens / Peter Childs --
'Tongues of bone' : A.L. Kennedy and the issues of articulation / Helen Stoddart --
Mr Wroe's virgins : the 'other Victorians' and up to date fiction / B.E. Maidment --
Pat Barker's vanishing barriers / Lynda Prescott --
Singular occasions : the 'as if' of Beryl Bainbridge's each guy for himself / Fiona Becket --
Iain Sinclair's millennial fiction : the instance of gradual chocolate post-mortem / Julian Wolfreys --
Hedgemony? : suburban area within the Buddha of suburbia / Susan Brook --
Iain Sinclair : the psychotic geographer treads the border-lines / Peter Brooker.
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Extra resources for British Fiction of the 1990s
Its histories and stories, of empire and the Indian subcontinent, of migration, diaspora and return never go anywhere: all the action occurs in London. The illusion of departure, of movement, staged in the narrative’s temporal displacements and loops, barely hides the immobility, the hypostasis of its setting. Eternal recurrence of the same: White Teeth’s topos is simultaneously atopic, its chronologies and histories, even, subsumed by the place it never leaves. Magid, sent away to recover a past and tradition that was never his own, returns even more the same: rational, liberal, legalistic, almost a sterile ﬁgure in his impossibly white suit and superclean lifestyle, a hyperbolically ‘pukka Englishman’, that is, even more English than the English, even more English than, for Abdul-Mickey, the Englishness deﬁning everyone as being ‘all English now, mate’.
His wife is less convinced. She cites from the Reader’s Digest Encyclopaedia: ‘Indo-Aryan . . ’ Despite original trauma, there are no authentic From excess to the new world order 31 origins: the more one moves back in search of purity and authenticity the less easy it is to recover: ‘do you think anybody is English? Really English? ’ (Smith 2000: 236). At the end of history, the end of myths of national identity. And their virulent fundamental return. The fairy tales play, it seems, on the eternal loop of sitcom reruns.
Accidents ensure a relatively human and liberal existence, detaching social relations from the weight (and violence) of too much history and tradition. Roots, as Rushdie’s Shame declares, pull two ways, their bonds and belonging also a binding and burden to be countered by ﬂight (Rushdie 1983: 85–6). For White Teeth’s faded father ﬁgure, Samad, accidentalism does leave the paternal authority of religious and ethnic identity in question: if belonging and birth come to be seen as accidental, if ‘everything is an accident’, then what does one do?
British Fiction of the 1990s by Nick Bentley