The essays in this volume consider the relevant historical discourses, important contemporary philosophical reflections and artistic perspectives on this subject-matter. The goal is to obtain a multifaceted survey of the concepts, the relationship of the various concepts and their advantages as well as their disadvantages. Leading scholars of many different traditions, countries and disciplines have contributed to this collection.
Biljana Dojčinović, University of Belgrade - Modernist Narrative Techniques and Challenges of Humanity: John Updike in European Perspective
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University of Belgrade
Modernist Narrative Techniques and Challenges of Humanity: John Updike in European Perspective1
John Updike once said that he considered himself an English writer manqué and confessed that he had not read Hawthorne before the age of 30.2 For a writer who, whenever writing a book of his own, had another book in mind, the issue of influences, if not intertextuality, is of the outmost importance. It is essential for a better understanding of not only the content of his works, but also the narrative techniques he used. The Serbian translator of many novels by Updike, the late Aleksandar Petrović, described Updike’s way of writing as that of an illegitimate child of Virginia Woolf and James Joyce.3 This situated Updike as a successor of modernists, and the range of his writing methods clearly confirms his awareness of both modernist as well as postmodernist strategies. The term ‘illegitimate child’ was meant, most probably, to point to the playfulness and freedom in Updike’s artistic treatment of everyday life, which was also the topic of both his ‘parents’. Rather than naming him a disciple of Woolf and Joyce, his Serbian translator designated him as their child of love, thus emphasising the emotional relationship and the lived experience, not a learned emulation.
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