Fragmentation in Postmodern Novels

John Hawkes once divulged that when he began to write he assumed that “the true enemies of the novel were plot, character, setting and theme”. Certainly many subsequent authors have done their best to sledgehammer these four literary cornerstones into oblivion. Either plot is pounded into small slabs of event and circumstance, characters disintegrate into… Read More Fragmentation in Postmodern Novels

Homi K Bhabha’s Theoretical Contributions to Film Studies

In his epistemological work on colonial and postcolonial discourse, cultural translation, hybridity and ambiguity, Homi Bhabha gives a central place to culture. Bhabha refers regularly to literature and (albeit to a lesser extent) to cinema. Speaking from a profoundly humanities perspective, and influenced by Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Frantz Fanon and Jacques Derrida, Bhabha argues… Read More Homi K Bhabha’s Theoretical Contributions to Film Studies

Key Theories of Lionel Trilling

A writer of significance in the history of American letters, even at the height of his fame Lionel Trilling (1905–1975) was considered ‘a critic without portfolio’. What this means for the contemporary reader, used to critical categories, theories and factional groups, is that a historical understanding of Trilling’s role is as necessary as an intellectual… Read More Key Theories of Lionel Trilling

Mimicry in Postcolonial Theory

An increasingly important term in post-colonial theory, because it has come to describe the ambivalent relationship between colonizer and colonized. When colonial discourse encourages the colonized subject to ‘mimic’ the colonizer, by adopting the colonizer’s cultural habits, assumptions, institutions and values, the result is never a simple reproduction of those traits. Rather, the result is… Read More Mimicry in Postcolonial Theory