Speculative Cultural Constructs of the Human Condition in John Fowles’s Mantissa

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Abstract

In Mantissa, Miles Green is deprived of his identity, and his Muse(s) attempt to help him reforget it through different (sub)cultural impersonations. This privately coded novel presents the process, which results in what could be termed a culturally determined variant of the postmodern human condition. My paper discusses some aspects of the way in which John Fowles reformulates his interpretations of the postmodern human condition, while demonstrating the capacity of art in general and of the novel in particular to adjust its rhetoric, narrative and technical solutions to the expectations generated by this extremely complex and difficult task.

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References

  • Fowles, J. 1982. Mantissa. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.

  • Fowles, J. 1996. “Poor Koko.” In. Fowles, John, 1996. The Ebony Tower. London: Jonathan Cape. (143-84)

  • Fowles, J. 1970. The French Lieutenant’s Woman. London: Penguin Books.

  • Cooper, P. 1991. The Fictions of John Fowles. Power, Creativity, Femininity. Ottawa, Paris: University of Ottawa Press.

  • Salami M. 1992. John Fowles’s Fiction and the Poetics of Postmodernism. London and Toronto: Associated University Presses.

  • Tarbox, K. 1988. The Art of John Fowles. Athens and London: The University of Georgia Press.

  • Waugh, P. 1995. Harvest of the Sixties: English Literature and its Background 1960 to 1990. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ars Aeterna

Literary Studies and Humanity

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