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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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Martin Paul Eve, ‘Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace and the Problems of “Metamodernism”: Post-Millennial Post-Postmodernism?’, C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-century Writings, 1 (2012), pp. 7-25.

David Foster Wallace’s long standing ambition was to move beyond postmodern irony, which he claimed introduced ‘sarcasm, cynicism, a manic ennui, suspicion of all authority, suspicion of all constraints on conduct’ into literature and culture. This article disturbs and troubles the concept of a millennial turning point for notions of a revived, ethically viable fiction. Arguing that if twenty-first-century fiction is easiest to categorize as metamodern, it is because of a shift of critical perspective overly rooted in positivist historical thinking, seeking a parallel progression in its object of study. Rather, this shift should now recognize that metamodern ontology and epistemology are also applicable to many postmodern fictions to their fictions.

Available online at C21 Literature. You can download 50% of the article for free, as per the licensing conditions of Gylphi.