This special issue of Alluvium takes as its subject contemporary literature’s relationship with the political centre. The editors remind us that there is more than one answer to this question. Indeed, locating this ideological ground is in part so difficult because of the constantly shifting discursive environment concerning centrism, and its relationship with both the left and the right.
We invite proposals for articles in our Autumn 2020 issue of Alluvium: Contemporary Representations of Homelessness The deadline for abstracts is the 15th of September…View More Call for Proposals: Articles on Contemporary Representations of Homelessness
This special issue of Alluvium takes as its subject contemporary literature’s relationship with the political centre. The editors remind us that there is more than one answer to this question. Indeed, locating this ideological ground is in part so difficult because of the constantly shifting discursive environment concerning centrism, and its relationship with both the left and the right.View More Alluvium Editorial 8.2: Locating the Centre in Contemporary Literature
The wider political formation of centrism within the last two decades can be more thoroughly articulated by examining its cultural expressions. This article argues that no accounting of the political centre’s literary and cultural mediations would be complete without Ian McEwan, who has shown remarkable permanence as the pinnacle of a specifically English, middlebrow literary culture.View More Class, Authenticity and Centrism
“How do you get to be a scumbag?” wonders the veteran protagonist of Nico Walker’s novel, “Cherry”. A tale of war, dope fiends and bank robbery, Walker’s auto-fictional debut isn’t short of despicable people doing despicable things. The scumbag veteran, however, marks a striking departure from the veteran hero familiar to the contemporary cultural landscape.View More Decentring the “Scumbag” Veteran
At the centre of our collective inability to apprehend the climate crisis is our failure to imagine ourselves as anything other than the centre of everything. This article examines Jenny Offill’s novel “Weather” arguing that it stages the contemporary Western subject’s centring on its own trivialities as necessary to survival on an individual scale, yet also as threat to the survival of the planet.View More The Centrality of the Trivial
This article examines the dissolution of the centre as a fecund literary frame of reference. Lucy Ellmann’s “Ducks, Newburyport” (2019) is a novel that is written on the precipice of crisis. It is an experimental novel of (mostly) one sentence that documents a contemporary crisis of distraction so engrossing that we do not have time to acknowledge its magnitude.View More Now “The Fact That” Then
Deadline: 30 November 2020 Picture by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash Mark Z. Danielewski’s pentalogy The Familiar, published between 2015 and 2017, is likely the most audacious…View More Call for Contributions: Special issue on Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar. Orbit.
In this first 2020 issue of Alluvium, articles converge around conflicting understandings of our sense of self in the neoliberal contemporary. At a particularly ‘uncertain’ time in which the concept of the national bloc is becoming all-the-more contested as a locus of identity, where do we seek alternative forms of identification and affiliation?View More Alluvium Editorial 8.1
In the previous issue of Alluvium, Christine Lehnen wrote about the possibilities and limitations of post-national literature in Europe in the 21st century. As part of an ongoing research project, she is conducting expert interviews with practitioners to explore their stance on nationality and how it shapes (or fails to shape) their writing.View More Post-National Authors, Post-National Literature? An Interview with David Szalay
The perennial popularity of films, mini-dramas, and documentary-style TV shows depicting serial killers reflects the symbiotic state between production and our fascinated consumption. As a culture, it seems we return to the scenes of violent and notorious crimes compulsively. Mark Seltzer implies the extent of our interest in this particular configuration of masculinity when he writes that representations of the serial killer and serial murder ‘have by now largely replaced the Western as the most popular genre-fiction of the body and of bodily violence in our culture’ (1).View More Returning to the Scene: Seriality and the Serial Killer in Mindhunter (2017-)