Wolfgang-Iser-Lecture 2024

Timothy Bewes, Brown University


Diese Veranstaltung ist Teil der Veranstaltungsreihe „Wolfgang Iser Lecture 2024“.

What would a novelistic work look like that no longer solicited our belief? My paper will explore a shift in the historical conditions of narrative fiction focused on the notion of believability. I will argue that we risk missing a profound historical development, a change in the belief structures of our world, when we fasten our critical procedures to “generic” understandings of fiction and ignore practices by novelists that tell us that the concept of believability that has long underpinned the category of fiction is itself no longer believable. My talk will use two very different recent US novels from 2010 to argue this case: Tao Lin's Richard Yates and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad. Both works, in different ways, suspend any notion of a “homology” between the world and the work, giving form to an absolute and irretrievable loss of belief.

Datum: 13.06.2024