Focusing on a number of experimental novels and short stories produced in the 1930s in the French, Italian, and English literary traditions, Norma Bouchard situates the origins of postmodernism in the works of three important writers.

Drawing upon the critical categories developed by poststructuralist and continental theorists, she argues that works by Céline, Gadda, and Beckett demonstrate qualities that later came to be associated with postmodernism: a pluralised literary subjectivity, a changed relationship to language, a decentrement of narrative representation, a grotesque and burlesque vision of the world.

Works that receive Bouchard’s close readings include: Céline’s Journey at the End of Night and Death on the Instalment Plan, Gadda’s Acquainted with Grief, and Beckett’s Dream of Fair to Middling Women, More Pricks Than Kicks, and Murphy.

Norma Bouchard, Céline, Gadda, Beckett. Experimental Writings of the 1930s, Gainesville FL, University Press of Florida, 2000, 232 pp., ISBN 0-8130-1818-8.

Published by The Edinburgh Journal of Gadda Studies (EJGS)

ISSN 1476-9859

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