Stephen Burn connects Don DeLillo's fifteenth novel, Point Omega, with the author's long-running investigation into the structures of the mind. Using an elusive narrative architecture, images from a slowed-down film, and moments of second- and third-order observation, the novel dramatizes the mind's pre-conscious fiction-making processes.
In this review-essay, James J. Pulizzi reads Joseph McElroy's 1977 novel, Plus, as a Bildungsroman for the posthuman: instead of tracing the development of a subject, the novel traces the development of processes that call the very idea of a subject into question. As a human brain adjusts to its new housing in an experimental satellite, the text unfolds in a series of re-entries and re-mappings, an unfolding that necessarily implicates the reader.
Minds bind - make coherent meaning from distributed processes - and narratives do, too.
The means by which they do so remains a mystery, however. Kiki Benzon suggests that this mystery is at the heart of Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, a text whose layered structure, typographical blending, and central metaphor - a house much bigger than the sum of its parts - enact the problem of binding on multiple levels.
Eric Dean Rasmussen explores Lynne Tillman's "cognitive aesthetic," suggesting that her work is powered by the generative disconnect between asignifying affect and signifying emotion. He argues that her 1998 novel, No Lease on Life, examines the role of affectively sustained universal values in responding politically to the neoliberal city.
In the wake of massive shifts in the function and purview of the University in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, Brian Lennon considers two recent texts on the system of higher educational institutions and the academic practices that supports it.
Eric Dean Rasmussen introduces a gathering of twelve essays on literary resistances that imagine how a materially engaged and affectively attuned literary culture might play a more transformative role in the emergent network society.
Simon Critchley's study of ethics has been prominently reviewed by literary and cultural theorists, though most treatments accept the premise that ethical relations are primarily among people, that ethics depends mainly on intersubjective relations. This review by Daniel Punday resituates "Infinitely Demanding" in a networked context, one that is constructed by "media, by global flows, and by the larger network swarms which themselves take on an identity." For Punday, an ethics for our time is best found, not by the study of identities and localities, but rather by authors of contemporary fiction such as Jonathan Letham, Susan Daitch, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Cade Bambara.
Reiichi Miura considers the worldwide reception of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami and charts a course for a fiction where nationalism loses relevance.