Download e-book for iPad: David Mitchell: Critical Essays by Sarah Dillon

By Sarah Dillon

ISBN-10: 1780240023

ISBN-13: 9781780240022

The result of the 1st overseas convention on David Mitchell's writing, this selection of severe essays, specializes in his first 3 novels - Ghostwritten (1999), number9dream (2001) and Cloud Atlas (2004) - to supply a sustained research of Mitchell's advanced narrative suggestions and the literary, political and cultural implications of his early paintings. The essays conceal issues starting from narrative constitution, style and the Bildungsroman to representations of Japan, postmodernism, the development of identification, utopia, technological know-how fiction and postcolonialism.


David Mitchell

1. Introducing David Mitchell’s Universe: A Twenty-First Century residence of Fiction
Sarah Dillon

2. The Novels in 9 Parts
Peter Childs and James Green

3. ‘Or anything like that’: Coming of Age in number9dream
Kathryn Simpson

4. Remediations of ‘Japan’ in number9dream
Baryon Tensor Posadas

5. The tales We inform: Discursive id via Narrative shape in Cloud Atlas
Courtney Hopf

6. Cloud Atlas: From Postmodernity to the Posthuman
Hélène Machinal

7. Cloud Atlas and If on a winter’s evening a
traveller: Fragmentation and Integrity within the Postmodern Novel
Will McMorran

8. ‘Strange Transactions’: Utopia, Transmigration and Time in Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas
Caroline Edwards

9. Speculative Fiction as Postcolonial: Critique in Ghostwritten and Cloud Atlas
Nicholas Dunlop

10. ‘Moonlight vivid as a flying saucers abduction’: technological know-how Fiction, Present-Future Alienation and Cognitive Mapping
William Stephenson

Notes on Contributors


About the Editor
Sarah Dillon is Lecturer in modern Fiction within the college of English on the college of St Andrews. She is writer of The Palimpsest: Literature, feedback, concept (2007) and has released essays on Jacques Derrida, Elizabeth Bowen, H.D., Michel Faber, Maggie Gee and David Mitchell.

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The world of The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet is colonized by different levels of imprisonment: Jacob and his fellow men are imprisoned on Dejima, unable to leave unless a ship is departing, forbidden to step on Japanese soil; Orito and the other sisters are imprisoned in Enomoto’s mountain shrine; the Japanese are themselves imprisoned within their Empire, forbidden to visit the outside world. Orito’s imprisonment and the enforced prostitution of the Sisters recalls that of Kozue Yamaya in number9dream whose pimp, like Master Suzaku in The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, personally dispenses drugs to numb the women’s minds and, it might be supposed, suppress any thoughts of rebellion or escape (n9d, 335; TA, 184).

Back] Mitchell explains to Birnbaum (2006) that he indulges himself by ‘trying to sneak into all of my books’ a model for each of them. [back] See, respectively, Peter Childs and James Green’s contribution to this collection, and my essay on Ghostwritten (Dillon, 2010). [back] Henry James describes his idea of the house of fiction in the 1908 preface to the New York Edition of The Portrait of a Lady. [back] Clive makes his reappearance in Mitchell’s excerpt from the new novel, which appeared in the Guardian in August 2010 entitled ‘Muggins Here’.

McMorran observes that while the two texts would seem to offer evidence of the mistrust of grand narratives that Jean-François Lyotard famously identified as part of the postmodern condition, both If on winter’s night a traveller and Cloud Atlas are clearly rooted in a classical aesthetic tradition that continues to prize continuity and formal integrity: Calvino’s fragments are housed in a teleological frame narrative that leads inexorably from first encounter to happy ever after for its two reader-protagonists; and, Cloud Atlas weaves an intertextual web of connecting topoi and characters between its various sections.

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David Mitchell: Critical Essays by Sarah Dillon

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