The Turn to Precarity in Twenty-First Century Fiction

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Abstract

Recent years have seen several attempts by writers and critics to understand the changed sensibility in post-9/11 fiction through a variety of new -isms. This essay explores this cultural shift in a different way, finding a ‘turn to precarity’ in twenty-first century fiction characterised by a renewal of interest in the flow and foreclosure of affect, the resurgence of questions about vulnerability and our relationships to the other, and a heightened awareness of the social dynamics of seeing. The essay draws these tendencies together via the work of Judith Butler in Frames of War, in an analysis of Trezza Azzopardi’s quasi-biographical study of precarious life, Remember Me.

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American, British and Canadian Studies

The Journal of Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu

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