Periodizing the '80s: the 'differential of history' in Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine

Thompson, Graham (2011) Periodizing the '80s: the 'differential of history' in Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine. MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, 57 (2). pp. 300-317. ISSN 0026-7724

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Official URL: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/modern_fiction_studies/v057/57.2.thompson.html

Abstract

This essay examines how Nicholson Baker’s The Mezzanine shifts engagement with the details of the material world consistently onto the axis of temporality and how, in so doing, it fashions a theory of periodization in which historical and social trends and events are relegated in importance. Asking how the detail or moment might both alter an understanding of the general and spread time to infinite proportions, The Mezzanine casts doubt on the process of periodizing by way of metonymy and synecdoche and offers instead a contingent and improvised version of the 1980s.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Copyright © 2011 Purdue Research Foundation. This article, "Periodizing the '80s: The 'Differential History' in Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine," first appeared in MFS, Modern Fiction Studies, v. 57:2, 2011, 300-317. Reprinted with permission by The Johns Hopkins University Press.
Schools/Departments:Faculty of Arts > School of American and Canadian Studies
ID Code:1508
Deposited By:Thompson, Dr Graham
Deposited On:17 Aug 2011 17:21
Last Modified:17 Aug 2011 17:21

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