Arthur M. Saltzman
This study examines some of the ways in which fiction has traditionally conspired to promote a goal-oriented vision of a work of art, and explores the ways in which postmodern (or postrealist) fiction consistently and unavoidably subverts the clarity of this vision. Offering readings of works by well-known authors, including Barthelme, Doctorow, DeLillo and Hawkes, as well as works by lesser-known writers (Auster, Gangemi), Saltzman concentrates on the break-down of epiphany in recent fiction, both as philosophical motive and structural foundation. In contemporary fiction, Saltzman contends, ambiguities blossom far beyond our capacities to stabilize, summarize or restore them to sense. The old rules of the game - in which a reader looking for Truth can expect some sort of satisfactory resolution - no longer apply.