The Politics of Style in the Fiction of Balzac Beckett & Cortazar

Synopsis

from The Politics of Style in the Fiction of Balzac Beckett & Cortazar

In his critical study of Joyce’s language, Joysprick, Anthony Burgess writes, ‘Novelists, like poets, work in the medium of humanlanguage, but some work in it more than others. There is a kind of novelist (conveniently designated as Class 1), usually popular, sometimes wealthy, in whose work language is a zero quantity, transparent, unseductive, the overtones of connotation and ambiquity totally dampened….Such work is closer to film than to poetry, and it invariably films better than it reads. The aim of the Class 1 novel can only properly be fulfilled when the narrated action is transformed into represented action: content being more important than style, the referents ache to be free of their words and to be presented directly as sense-data.

 

Excerpt

from The Politics of Style in the Fiction of Balzac Beckett & Cortazar

Contemporary novel practice of the twentieth century has, to a great extent, come to represent commodification. One dimension of that commodifying process is that the novel has become an instrument which tends to validate a particular ‘political´ reality vis-à-vis its structure. That structure, based on certain nineteenth-century Anglo-French notions of what novels ‘look like´, has become appropriated by the reading public and tended to become ossified into very traditional forms. What this study attempts to do is who how novels are imbued with a political nature based simply on how they are crafted. The work shows that these texts present political structures not necessarily in their content, but in their ‘politext´, or the political manner in which they are individually composed, designed and presented on the page.