CFP: Encyclopedic Fictions of 21st-Century American Literature
Northeast Modern Language Association Convention
Rochester, New York, March 15-18, 2012
Writing an encyclopedic fiction has constituted a bid for literary greatness at least since the publication of Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow in 1973. In light of the fact that the year 2010 saw the publication of no fewer than three such encyclopedic fictions (Joshua Cohen's Witz, Adam Levin's The Instructions, and Karen Tei Yamashita's I Hotel), this panel will examine the continued relevance of the encyclopedic form as a means by which authors stake their claims to places in the canon of American literature.