In The Underside of Politics, Sorin Radu Cucu argues that we can understand the work of a range of American and Eastern European authors, including Thomas Pynchon, Robert Coover, Philip Roth, Milan Kundera, D. R. Popescu, and Danilo Kiš, as exercises in contemporaneity. This may seem like a fairly simple suggestion. But in Cucu's book it is not. Far from it. Cucu gives us an account of contemporaneity that is not a matter of being. Instead, the term designates for Cucu a process, a temporal relation that emerges from actions that are aimed at getting a better understanding of our present. Being able to understand the present, in turn, is a matter of being able to read it better. The era of the Cold War was a foggy one, Cucu suggests, and it remains so to this day. People struggle to...
Interpretive Fictions of the Cold War
mathias nilges is associate professor of English at St. Francis Xavier University, Canada, and author of a monograph titled Still Life With Zeitroman: The Time of the Contemporary American Novel (currently under review). His essays have appeared American Literary History, Callaloo, and Textual Practice. With Emilio Sauri he is the coeditor of Literary Materialisms (2013) and with Michael D'Arcy of The Contemporaneity of Modernism (2016).
Mathias Nilges; Interpretive Fictions of the Cold War. Novel 1 November 2016; 49 (3): 534–536. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00295132-3651346
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