Ideas of Order: Narrative Patterns in the Novels of Richard Powers

Ideas of Order: Narrative Patterns in the Novels of Richard Powers, by Antje Kley and Jan Kucharzewski (Universitätsverlag Winter, 2012). Investigating the distinct poetics of Richard Powers’ writing, this volume demonstrates that the author’s complex body of fictional work warrants much more focused and systematic critical attention than it has received so far. The essays explore how Powers’ work oscillates between the poles of realism and metafictional postmodernism, creating narratives in which the conventions of realism are both deployed and undermined, in which characters are simultaneously presented as motivated agents and as textual constructs. By conceptualizing Powers’ novels as texts in which order is both a central and a consciously fictional idea, the essays collected in this volume discuss how Powers’ densely structured fictions indicate the potential of a concrete relation between life and literature that manifests itself in an inherently narrative vision of human consciousness. (American Studies Monograph Series No. 277)

More details from Ideas of Order Conference at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, November 26-28, 2010.

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