English Literature
5 | 2018

English Literature
5 | 2018

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chevron_rightLiterature

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chevron_right2385-1635

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Vol. 5 | Num. 1 | Dicembre 2018

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English Literature | 5 | 2018

Re-run and Re-read
Tom McCarthy’s Remainder as an Archeology of the Present

Alessandra Violi
Università degli Studi di Bergamo
alessandra.violi@unibg.it

DOI 10.30687/EL/2420-823X/2018/05/006

Submitted 09 Oct 2018
Accepted 01 Dec 2018

Abstract

Hailed by critics as breaking paths for the direction of British fiction, Tom McCarthy’s novel Remainder (2005) has been described as a way of re-thinking literature in terms of intermedial spaces, be they installations, performance artworks or a ‘remix’ of writing and film. The newness of Remainder seems to hinge on its imitation of a contemporary mediascape saturated with technical images and simulacra, in which reality is totally metamorphosed into a filmic phantasmagoria that novel writing is striving to mimic. Following McCarthy’s eschewing of the rhetoric of the ‘new’, this essay discusses the practice of re-enactment described in Remainder as a way digging up images from the past to read the myth of postmodern hyperreality against its grain. McCarthy’s ‘archeology of the present’ takes the concern with mediation and visual culture back to the unfinished business of modernism and its encounter with cinematic technology, reproposing the materialist aesthetics of embodiment that emerged from the conversation among literature, film and medicine in writers such as Joyce or T.S. Eliot, down to Samuel Beckett.

Keywords
Simulacra. Re-enactment. Modernism. Film technology. Literature as medium. Materiality. Embodiment. Neuropathology.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License 

Table of contents
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Campo DC Valore

dc.contributor.author

Violi Alessandra

dc.title

Re-run and Re-read

dc.type

Journal Article

dc.language.iso

en

dc.identifier.uri

http://doi.org/10.14277/EL/2420-823X/2018/05/006

dc.description.abstract

Hailed by critics as breaking paths for the direction of British fiction, Tom McCarthy’s novel Remainder (2005) has been described as a way of re-thinking literature in terms of intermedial spaces, be they installations, performance artworks or a ‘remix’ of writing and film. The newness of Remainder seems to hinge on its imitation of a contemporary mediascape saturated with technical images and simulacra, in which reality is totally metamorphosed into a filmic phantasmagoria that novel writing is striving to mimic. Following McCarthy’s eschewing of the rhetoric of the ‘new’, this essay discusses the practice of re-enactment described in Remainder as a way digging up images from the past to read the myth of postmodern hyperreality against its grain. McCarthy’s ‘archeology of the present’ takes the concern with mediation and visual culture back to the unfinished business of modernism and its encounter with cinematic technology, reproposing the materialist aesthetics of embodiment that emerged from the conversation among literature, film and medicine in writers such as Joyce or T.S. Eliot, down to Samuel Beckett.

dc.relation.ispartof

English Literature

dc.relation.ispartof

Vol. 5 | Num. 1 | Dicembre 2018

dc.publisher

Edizioni Ca’ Foscari - Digital Publishing

dc.date.issued

2018-12-17

dc.dateAccepted

2018-10-09

dc.dateSubmitted

2018-12-01

dc.identifier.issn

2385-1635

dc.identifier.eissn

2420-823X

dc.rights

Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution alone

dc.rights.uri

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

dc.subject

Simulacra

dc.subject

Re-enactment

dc.subject

Modernism

dc.subject

Film technology

dc.subject

Literature as medium

dc.subject

Materiality

dc.subject

Embodiment

dc.subject

Neuropathology

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