CFP: [20th] Upcoming Special Issue: Muriel Spark

full name / name of organization: 
Modern Fiction Studies
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Muriel Spark

Guest Editor: David Herman

Deadline for Submission: 1 March 2008


The Editors of Modern Fiction Studies seek theoretically informed and historically contextualized
essays on the fiction of Muriel Spark, including film adaptations of her work.

Intended to commemorate the death (on April 15, 2006) of one of the most important writers in
English coming to maturity in the second half of the twentieth century, this special issue also
aims to take stock of Spark’s enduring legacyâ€"especially her influence on the landscape of
postwar British fiction. The author of more than 20 novels, and of 7 novels in the years
1957-1963 alone, Spark is notable for the strikingly innovative style that she established early in
her career and that formed the basis for her subsequent work. That style combined a focus on
novelistic technique, including modes of metafictional play, with a probing investigation of the
moral and psychological dimensions of human conduct. At the formal level, this dual focus
translated into fable-like plots that nonetheless feature memorably particularized characters.
Thus, whereas David Lodge has argued that there were two main reactions to modernismâ€"anti-
modernism and postmodernism, Spark chose a third way, producing a body of work that
embraces both the modernist emphasis on technique and the concern with complex social
worlds that is characteristic of modernism’s Victorian precursors.

Contributions might explore the evolution of Spark’s narrative techniques by cross-comparing
her novels, put Spark’s fiction into dialogue with gender studies, narrative theory, or other
critical approaches, or explore the relations between Spark’s texts and philosophical,
sociocultural, and literary developments in the second half of the twentieth century (and beyond).

Essays should be limited to 8000 words, including all quotations and bibliographic references,
and should follow the MLA Style Manual for internal citation and Works Cited.

Please submit two copies of your essay to The Editors, Mfs, Department of English, Purdue
University, 500 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2038. Queries should be directed to David
Herman (

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Received on Wed Oct 03 2007 - 14:08:13 EDT