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make sense of themselves in the world. Berensmeyer sees the work of Banville in a liminal position between modernist and postmodernist concems; in the contemporary narrative panorama, there is no possibility of ignoring the rigorous formal achievements of modernism and retuming to a pre-modernist form of realist representation, in which the world was seen as given and the artist's task was to talk about it, focusing the attention on the content rather than on form.' Banville asserts the need for investigation and experimentation of the narrative medium in

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Fable. 4 But without forgetting Alexander Smith, that misunderstood Scottish genius who is another, earlier exile from Eden (Volume 4, §§ 227–228). 5 In summary, and in addition to what I say above: both authors were born into humble families and emigrated to London without an extensive formal education; both had to recover from childhood and adolescent neuroses stemming from their religious upbringing, reverting to a spiritualistic faith outside any Church; both are cham- pions of metanoia and polemical towards the contemporary world. Both authors were familiar

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to continue their journey, Doubting Castle, where giant Despair dwells, and even Palace Beautiful, the residence of the Lord of the Hill, in which Christian is armed). But the combination of Biblical figures and romance stereotypes with values, images, and atti- tudes drawn from contemporary history is ultimately contained within the overarching Christian framework of the The Pilgrim’s Progress. The dimension where events take place does not fully coincide with the em- pirical world: it is a dreamlike continuum (probably derived from the tradition of the

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perspective, Doctor Hoffman appears to be in the tradition of realistic portrayals of human struggle in face of disaster such as Camus' The Plague (1947): "An epidemic of cholera decimated the eastern suburbs and thirty cases of typhus had been reported that week" (Doctor Hoffman 29). The protagonist, Desiderio, views his world in a way not incompatible with Camus' earlier existential vision. He sees a "world . . . of earthquake and cataclysm, cyclone and devastation; the violent matrix, the real world of unmastered, unmasterable physical stress that is entirely

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traditional Jewish communities. Pre-Holocaust Warsaw was the world center of Yiddish culture while the Hasidim movement flourished in the Polish part of Podolia, these being only two examples of the rich and diverse Jewish civilization in the part of Europe which is historically connected with Poland. There is also a relatively new and marginal sphere of contact: between Jews from America and contemporary Poland. Despite the ease of international travel and mutual contacts, in Jewish-American fiction this has been on the periphery of representation. Certain

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that blues is the sound of motion. Perhaps then to “train” one’s voice in the 21st century is to correspond expressively to, to translate, the movement of the contemporary selves, the sounds of the modern metropolis, as well as to the multi- ple imaginary and virtual cognitive scapes (image-based, perspectival) we inhabit and move between daily.14 To think in these terms is to understand Orcutt’s playing as ar- tistic coded messages, to hear in Orcutt’s phrases not only a transposition of a rock band but also of the soaring planes, phones, city streets, metro

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by the writing and public pronouncements raised by the writer. In the end, I trust that the pages which follow will offer a new critical frame or lens through which to reassess the myriad problems that his dual identity, French and Algerian, posed for Camus. The son of a pied-noir1 farm labourer who died fighting in the French army during the First World War, Camus’ mother, Catherine Sintès, was 1 Pied-noirs was the name given to white colonists who settled in Algeria and jealously guarded their French identity. Before the outbreak of the Algerian War (1954

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frontier, Blew conflates the personal and the national, the known geography and the mythic unknown landscape. Her westward gaze into her future relation with an “uninvented” place is filtered through the lenses of personal experience and regional and national histories. When Blew (a descendent of five generations of Montana homesteaders) asks, “What is a divide, if not for I Autobiography, Ecology, and the Well-Placed Self 86 crossing?” she recalls a history marked by passages from older worlds into spaces gleaming with opportunity (Bone Deep 39). Her

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a disintegrating society” (4). 367 As Daniel Pick points out, degeneration was a prominent discourse in Europe, often paradoxically coupled with progress in the second half of the nineteenth century, or as he puts it, “the term continued to be widely used or presumed as a virtual ortho- doxy.” See Faces of Degeneration: A European Disorder, C. 1848–1918 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 1989) 8. 164 utopian ideals, leaving a world mired in decadence and enervation. Max Nordau, often given credit for coining this term, writes poignantly: “In our days there have

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also challenges a certain strand of homophobic orthodoxy found amongst non-Native Christians and which has been accepted by some members of the Creek community. By dealing with aspects of Creek life that might be considered deviant for one reason or another (and by one group or another), but were in fact routine, Womack’s narrative serves to unsettle some of the accepted wisdom about old-time Muskogee traditionalism, and undermines one- dimensional perspectives that pit a morally superior “tribal past” against the “impurities” associated with contemporary