Women’s Short Fiction from Virginia Woolf to Ali Smith
Edited By Laura Lojo Rodriguez
Chapter 5. Coming to Terms with Postmodern Artifi ciality: Reassessing Nature in Ali Smith’s The Whole Storyand other stories 111 - CELINA SÁNCHEZ GARCÍA
CELINA SÁNCHEZ GARCÍA Chapter 5. Coming to Terms with Postmodern Artiﬁ ciality: Reassessing Nature in Ali Smith’s The Whole Story and Other Stories Ali Smith’s collection of short ﬁ ction The Whole Story and Other Stories seems to epitomize postmodern conceptions of literature as highly self-conscious. “In Coming to Terms with Postmodern Artiﬁ ciality: Reassessing Nature in Ali Smith’s The Whole Story and Other Stories, I argue how Smith consciously plays with excess and metaﬁ ction to disrupt and distort any potential meaning, which allegedly resists signiﬁ cation. However, close examination of The Whole Stories and Other Stories brings to the fore the relevance of natural patterns pertaining to season cycles as an outstanding anal- ogy for the cyclical structure of the collection itself, thus providing an interpretative strategy which counterbalances literary excess and metaﬁ ctional techniques, while hinting at the possibility of an essen- tial foundation. Ali Smith has proved to be a versatile writer whose literary production covers short stories, novels and drama. In all these genres, Smith displays relevant discursive features such as the dispersion and fragmentation of discourses and points of view, intertextual and metaﬁ ctional devices which also reﬂ ect on contemporary social and literary debates. Such an inspiring conjunction has propitiated the fact that Smith has often been labelled as a prototypically postmodernist writer. This chapter aims to reﬂ ect on Ali Smith’s postmodernist poet- ics in the light of linguistic theories which read postmodernism as the culmination of a referentiality crisis already...
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