UPDATE Early literary centuries— Literatures from the early 20th and 21st centuries and their links with the previous centuries

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Journal "Textes et contextes"
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Early literary centuries— Literatures from the early 20th and 21st centuries and their links with the previous centuries
full name / name of organization:
Journal "Textes et contextes"
contact email:
The 7th issue of e‐journal Textes et contextes (EA 4182, Research centre Interlangues, TIL, University of Burgundy, Dijon, France) will be devoted to the literatures of the early 20th and 21st centuries in their links with their preceding centuries, in a project questioning aesthetics, genre issues and literary history. We invite contributions on the formal, genre and ethical filial links between the two eras, questioning those "débuts de siècle" (see Terence McCarthy, ed., Les Débuts de siècles, published in Dijon in 2000) in the wake of many literary or historical studies on "fins de siècle" (J. R. Aymes and S. Salaün, eds., Les Fins de siècles en Espagne, 2003). Since fiction from the last decade has hardly been studied in a diachronic way, this volume will combine synchronic and diachronic angles to offer various new epistemological answers alongside international current research (with for instance the new journal launched by the Universities of Brighton and Lincoln, C21: A Journal of 21st‐Century Writing, Routledge).
Two questions shall be asked: what are the similarities between literature today and the one from the early 20th century? After postmodernism and postrealism, is it possible to write today in the same way as one hundred years ago? Are contemporary hesitations between necessarily ethical forms of realism and unstable modernity similar to the doubts of the writers from the beginning of the previous century?
More generally, the other question will be that of a formal likeness in the conflicted relation of those literatures to past fiction. Is contemporary literature based on the same couple of rejection and fascination the Edwardian novelists seemed to be caught in? How does it look on postmodernism and its many avatars? Can we find here the logics that already defined the links between early 20th century fiction and the 19th century canons? Beyond borrowing or rewriting, can we stylistically define contemporary fiction thanks to its critical stance to its past models from the 20th century?
Let us mention for British fiction Ian McEwan and Virginia Woolf, Zadie Smith and E. M. Forster, Jonathan Coe and Rosamond Lehmann or Evelyn Waugh. While Edwardian, premodernist and modernist writers wished to break away from the Victorian realists, we now know that the modernist "revolution" meant a transgression of principles that would be refashioned as well as ambiguously respected, as the new definitions of a more social, more humanistic realism were to show in the 1930s. Do writers today, in their obsession to be "contemporary", subversively make theirs the new codes of realist fiction from the 20th century the same way? Do postmodernism and postrealism cancel each other today, or do these writers emphasise extremes as the Edwardians and the Georgians did with realism and modernism according to Woolf? All these questions should be asked by contributors, following the first studies by Richard Bradford (The Novel Now, 2007), Philip Tew (The Contemporary British Novel, 2007), Nick Bentley
(Contemporary British Fiction, 2008), or Émilie Walezak and Jocelyn Dupont (eds., L'Intertextualité dans le roman anglophone contemporain, 2010).
In Los espejos del novelista (1998), D. R. de Moya works on selfreferentiality and metafiction today and one century ago (Benjamín Jarnés and Antonio Espina). Was this dimension originally driven by the 1898 intellectual crisis? Did Spanish modernism and the avant‐garde in the "Novecentismo" define themselves against Galdós's realism the same way contemporary writers, in the wake of the "Movida", move away from the social realism of the Franco years through a new narrative approach to memory and History? Can we think of any artist parodying his predecessors as Enrique Jardiel Poncela did at the beginning of the 20th century?
The avant‐garde will also be of interest to specialists of German literature. As the "Heimatkunst" movement questioned the poetic realism of the second half of the 19th century, can we find a similar relation to realism and History in contemporary fiction and in the "classical modernity" of the first decades of the last century, with its Dadaist and expressionistic avant‐garde?
Abstracts (one page and five bibliographical references) shall be sent by 15 November 2011 to: lau.mellet@gmail.com and revuetil@u‐bourgogne.fr
Only original articles will be considered. Accepted languages: English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish.
Notification of acceptance: 30 November 2011 Articles for: 15 February 2012 Return of peer‐reviews: 15 May 2012 Corrections for: 1 July 2012
Publication: November 2012
Notification of acceptance will be indicative only, since the final decision will be taken after the complete articles have been peer‐reviewed. Please contact Dr Laurent Mellet for any inquiry: lau.mellet@gmail.com
Journal website: http://revuesshs.u‐bourgogne.fr/textes&contextes/

cfp categories:
modernist studies