• “You will see the logic of the design of this”: From Historiography to Taxonomography in the Contemporary Metafiction of Sarah Waters’s Affinity

    Author(s):
    Martin Paul Eve (see profile)
    Date:
    2013
    Group(s):
    LLC 20th- and 21st-Century English and Anglophone
    Subject(s):
    Academe, British literature, English literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    neo-victorian, contemporary literature, sarah waters
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6530Q
    Abstract:
    Although, in some ways, Sarah Waters’s Affinity looks akin to historiographic metafiction, Marie-Luise Kohlke has persuasively argued that the text is more accurately dubbed “new(meta)realism”, a mode that demonstrates the xhausted potential of the form. This article suggests that genre play and a meta-generic mode, dubbed taxonomography, might be a further helpful description for the mechanism through which Waters’s novel effects its twists and pre-empts the expectations of an academic discourse community. This reading exposes Waters’s continuing preoccupation with the academy but also situates her writing within a broader spectrum of fiction that foregrounds genre as a central concern. Ultimately, this article asks whether Waters’s novel can, itself, be considered as a text that disciplines its own academic study in the way that it suggests that the academy has become, once more, blind to class.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Publisher:
    Swansea University
    Journal:
    Neo-Victorian Studies
    Volume:
    6
    Issue:
    1
    Start Page:
    105
    End Page:
    125
    Status:
    Published
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

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