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A comprehensive examination of one of the twentieth century’s most innovative writers and critics.
This collection of essays offers an authoritative examination and appraisal of the French-American novelist Raymond Federman’s many contributions to humanities scholarship, including Holocaust studies, Beckett studies, translation studies, experimental fiction, postmodernism, and autobiography. Although known primarily as a novelist, Federman (1928–2009) is also the author of numerous books of poetry, essays, translations, and criticism. After immigrating to the United States in 1942 and receiving a PhD in comparative literature at UCLA in 1957, he held professorships in the University at Buffalo’s departments of French and English from 1964 to 1999. Together with Steve Katz and Ronald Sukenick, he was one of the original founders of the Fiction Collective, a nonprofit publishing house dedicated to avant-garde, experimental prose. Far too many accounts treat Federman as merely a member of a small group of writers who pioneered “metafictional” or “postmodern” American literature. Federman’s Fictions will introduce (or, for some, reintroduce) to the broader scholarly community a creative and daring thinker whose work is significant not just to considerations of the development of innovative fiction, but to a number of other distinct disciplines and emerging critical discourses.
“…a scholarly and well thought out compendium of literary criticism.” — Library Bookwatch
Jeffrey R. Di Leo is Professor of English and Philosophy at the University of Houston-Victoria. He is also editor and publisher of the American Book Review and editor-in-chief of symplokē, a journal of comparative literature and theory. His books include Fiction’s Present: Situating Contemporary Narrative Innovation (coedited with R. M. Berry), also published by SUNY Press.
Table of Contents
Some Answers for Raymond Federman Charles Bernstein
Other Voices: The Fiction of Raymond Federman Jeffrey R. Di Leo
Part I. A Life in the Text
1. Beckett and Beyond: Federman the Scholar Jerome Klinkowitz
2. How, and How Not, to Be a Published Novelist: The Case of Raymond Federman Ted Pelton
3. Samuel Beckett and Raymond Federman: A Bilingual Companionship Daniela Hurezanu
4. Filling in the Blanks: Raymond Federman, Self-Translator Alyson Waters
5. Re-Double or Nothing: Federman, Autobiography, and Creative Literary Criticism Larry McCaffery
Part II. Philosophy of Literature
6. A Narrative Poetics of Raymond Federman Brian McHale
7. Surfiction, Not Sure Fiction: Raymond Federman's Second-Degree Textual Manipulations Davis Schneiderman
8. Raymond Federman, the Ultimate Metafictioneer Eckhard Gerdes
9. Formulating Yet Another Paradox: Raymond Federman's Real Fictitious Discourses Thomas Hartl
10. The Agony of Unrecognition: Raymond Federman and Postmodern Theory Eric Dean Rasmussen
11. Raymond Federman and Critical Theory Jan Baetens
Part III. Laughter, History, and the Holocaust
12. Surviving in the Corridors of History or, History as Double or Nothing Dan Stone
13. When Postmodern Play Meets Survivor Testimony: Federman and Holocaust Literature Susan Rubin Suleiman
14. “In Black Inkblood”: Agonistic and Cooperative Authorship in the (Re)Writing of History Marcel Cornis-Pope
15. Cosmobabble or, Federman’s Return Christian Moraru
16. Featherman’s Body Literature or, the Unbearable Lightness of Being Michael Wutz
17. Federman’s Laughterature Menachem Feuer
Critifictional Reflections on the Novel Today Raymond Federman