The consensus dates for the modernist period in literature is the end of 19th century and the end of WWII. While the precise start and end points are debatable, I find it hard to believe that you don't know what the generally understood time-frame is for the modernist period in literature. You're too literate (you're certainly better read than me) not to have encountered it.FerdinandGriffon wrote:And what would be the "public" definition that I am somehow operating outside of? This seems like an especially suspect idea when talking about loose movements like modernism, characterized more by periods of intense stylistic diversity and experimentation than by any inherent qualities or shared intentions.
Your own definition could well be better, more accurate, more interesting, ect., but it shouldn't go unstated. The 50's is contested ground.
Enough so that the common term for that kind of allegory is post-modern allegory (assuming we are talking about the same kind of allegoresis? Rereading your definition, I'm no longer sure I understand it). But there is nothing in post-modernism that hasn't been done before, so this does not compel me to reconsider my point. Also--and please correct me if I'm wrong--but modernism in Europe and North America shouldn't be conflated with modernism in traditions outside of it, like Japan, which develop out of separate movements and periods according to different time frames.FerdinandGriffon wrote:Really? Though the technique is certainly in the post-modern toolkit (wielded with less subtlety than it had been previously, I'd say) it didn't appear there without precedent. And I'd point to the very clear examples of this in the work of writers like Kafka ("Before the Law", "The Great Wall of China", The Trial), Capek (The Insect Play) Akutagawa (Kappa) and Tanizaki ("The Tatooer") as evidence, writers who definitely made their mark on Abe.
Also, that's exactly four writers, none of whom exemplify the period/movement (except maybe Kafka--whom I don't consider an allegorist anyway). So it's not so much "Modernist writers tend..." as "Some modernist writers have...".
Movement as a whole. If you're interested I can find you the whole quote. Don't have time right now.FerdinandGriffon wrote:Are you sure that Brooke-Rose was arguing that about the nouveau roman movement as a whole, or just Robbe-Grillet? Though that's certainly an interesting approach to R-G, it doesn't apply at all to say, Sarraute or Pinget.
Yes, I've read both Woman in the Dunes and Face of Another. I thought them fantasies well before I saw the Teshigahara films. I consider them fantasies for much the same reason I consider Nabokov's novels fantasies (I remember a blogger once saying that Abe's novels resembled Nabokov's more finely ground fantasies like Bend Sinister, now that I think of it). I define fantasy more widely than simply 'impossible happenings.'Ferdinandgriffon wrote:I'd also like to point out that many of Abe's works, like The Ruined Map (novel and film) and White Morning, are totally lacking in the fantastical elements you claim are characteristic, while still being of a clear and consistent piece with the rest of his oeuvre. And that many of the fantastical features of the films of Woman in the Dunes and The Face of Another should be attributed to Teshigahara, not Abe, whose original novels are presented in a much drier, essayistic and pseudo-scientific style, without recourse to the baroque visuals of the films.
Also, that straight-forward, naturalistic manner of narrating contextually-specific actions and psychologies you mention is one of the reasons I don't consider Abe a allegorist. It's also not a manner that, by itself, precludes fantasy. I think of Ballard's story The Drowned Giant for instance.