21st century writing | 21st century approaches

Current Issue

A Unified Scene? Global Fictions in the C21

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015

The twenty-first century has been marked by an unprecedented intensification in globalisation, transnational mobility and technological change. According to Peter Boxall, there has been a ‘turn in the fiction of the new century’ to reflect this ‘contemporary global condition’ (Boxall 141). This turn is especially pertinent to any discussion of literature from Britain or the United States ...

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Current Issue

Celebrity and Surveillance in ‘There But For The’

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015

Ali Smith’s There But For The (2011) is about a man who locks himself in the spare room during a dinner party, and stays there for several months. As a plus one guest, Miles Garth’s act of seclusion provides the catalyst for Smith’s ‘scathing social satire’ (Tancke 85) of the Lees and their suburban lifestyle, with, as Ulrike Tancke notes, their main concern relating to the preservation ...

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Current Issue

Towards a Taxonomy of Edgelands Literature

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015

Susan Sontag, in her 1969 work Styles of Radical Willclaimed that ‘there is no such thing as empty space. As long as a human eye is looking there is always something to see’ (10) – foreseeing with the simplicity of her statement a watershed moment in literary and cultural criticism, the spatial turn, the effects of which are still being comprehended and incorporated into the ...

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Current Issue

Original Modern or a New Kind of Ordinary?

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015

There is a line in David Peace’s Nineteen Eighty Three (2002) that is so resonant that its absence is all but unimaginable: ‘To us all and to the North – where we do what we want!’ (Peace 228). In a series of short articles for Alluvium I use the malevolence and pathos of this line – a toast drunk by corrupt police officers to a chimerical space which, as Christopher ...

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Recent Posts

A Unified Scene? Global Fictions in the C21

A Unified Scene? Global Fictions in the C21

Jun 26, 2015

The twenty-first century has been marked by an unprecedented intensification in globalisation, transnational mobility and technological change. According to Peter Boxall, there has been a ‘turn in the fiction of the new century’ to reflect this ‘contemporary global condition’ (Boxall 141). This turn is especially pertinent to any discussion of literature from Britain or the United States ...

Celebrity and Surveillance in ‘There But For The’

Celebrity and Surveillance in ‘There But For The’

Jun 26, 2015

Ali Smith’s There But For The (2011) is about a man who locks himself in the spare room during a dinner party, and stays there for several months. As a plus one guest, Miles Garth’s act of seclusion provides the catalyst for Smith’s ‘scathing social satire’ (Tancke 85) of the Lees and their suburban lifestyle, with, as Ulrike Tancke notes, their main concern relating to the preservation ...

Towards a Taxonomy of Edgelands Literature

Towards a Taxonomy of Edgelands Literature

Jun 26, 2015

Susan Sontag, in her 1969 work Styles of Radical Willclaimed that ‘there is no such thing as empty space. As long as a human eye is looking there is always something to see’ (10) – foreseeing with the simplicity of her statement a watershed moment in literary and cultural criticism, the spatial turn, the effects of which are still being comprehended and incorporated into the ...

Original Modern or a New Kind of Ordinary?

Original Modern or a New Kind of Ordinary?

Jun 26, 2015

There is a line in David Peace’s Nineteen Eighty Three (2002) that is so resonant that its absence is all but unimaginable: ‘To us all and to the North – where we do what we want!’ (Peace 228). In a series of short articles for Alluvium I use the malevolence and pathos of this line – a toast drunk by corrupt police officers to a chimerical space which, as Christopher ...

Editorial – Global Conflict

Editorial – Global Conflict

May 13, 2015

Contemporary fiction about global conflict is often concerned with an imaginative collapsing of space. Putting emotional affect to instrumental use, it works to raise awareness about events that go untold by the world’s media, either challenging conventional understandings of...

Displaced Perspective

Displaced Perspective

May 13, 2015

The United Nations refugee agency – UNHCR – released a report in 2012 which argued that displacement, predominately caused by war, is ‘the new twenty-first century challenge’ (UNHCR Global Trends). Through the perspective of a vulnerable and ...

Drones and Dissociation

Drones and Dissociation

May 13, 2015

In January 2013 the novelist Teju Cole released a series of tweets introduced as “Seven Short Stories about Drones.” Each rewrites the opening of a classic novel, cutting off the narrative with a drone strike. For example, the third in the series rains “fire from heaven” ...

Pixels/Tissue – Drone Wars and Suicide Attacks

Pixels/Tissue – Drone Wars and Suicide Attacks

May 13, 2015

Suicide bombing and drone strikes, both radically ultimate, occupy opposite ends of the spectrum of asymmetrical warfare: while the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle combines maximum destructiveness with zero physical danger for the pilot, a suicide attack is, following Baudrillard, the...