Contemporary British Fiction and the Cultural Politics of Disenfranchisement

Contemporary British Fiction and the Cultural Politics of Disenfranchisement

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During the 1980s, urban space became an important battleground in a confrontation between left and right over the meaning of freedom. While Thatcherism sought to harness the power of the free market to rationalise and reform the inner cities, the response of the 'cultural' left was to celebrate the emancipatory potential of flexible identities and expressive practices associated with urban subcultures. However, through close readings of eight contemporary authors, this book argues that a problematic consequence of the left's experiment with freedom was to elevate exclusion to the status of a political principle and to close down the space of politics itself. It explores how, in less than two decades, the coexistence of flexible cultural identities and urban space has become a virtual impossibility in British fiction. And it suggests that, today, the British novel is frequently marked by structures of failed utopianism, frustrated or incomplete experiments and even withdrawal and quietism, all of which are a consequence of the left's celebration of a cultural politics of disenfranchisement.task made yet more difficult by the way in which this particular piece of furniture looms above her: When she opened her eyes beneath the large black wardrobe she had the sensation a€“ a relief in her bones a€“ that the day had finally arrived.

Title:Contemporary British Fiction and the Cultural Politics of Disenfranchisement
Author: Alexander Beaumont
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan - 2015-06-09

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