Peripheral Realisms

Peripheral Realisms

Colleen Lye


with Joseph Cleary and Jed Esty, eds.

Modern Languages Quarterly 73:3 (2012)
20th- and 21st-Century American
20th- and 21st-Century British
Critical Theory
Irish
African
South Asian

Peripheral Realisms sets out to challenge the widespread habit among critics in several interlinked fields, especially US ethnic studies and postcolonial studies, to view realism as outmoded and likely to harbor old-fashioned investments in ethnic or national purity. Nine articles, covering writers such as Roberto Bolaño, Thomas Mofolo, V. S. Naipaul, and Jade Snow Wong and genres such as Irish emigrant documentary and Indian Dalit fiction, suggest that a vital and variegated critical realism has been central to the development of world literature since 1900. Framing essays by Joe Cleary, Jed Esty, Colleen Lye, and Fredric Jameson situate peripheral realism in relation to the history of the literary disciplines, the reflexive aesthetic prestige of international modernism within them, and the changing order of the post-Cold War world.

 Colleen Lye
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