Monday, December 10, 2012

Barry Lewis on Richard Powers


Dr Barry Lewis (English) has published an essay in Ideas of Order: Narrative Patterns in the Novels of Richard Powers, edited by Antje Kley and Jan D. Kucharzewski (Universit√§tsverlag Winter, 2012). This volume in the American Studies Monograph series, which emerged from a conference on Powers that was held at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in November 2010, aims at establishing a critical approach to Powers’ oeuvre which acknowledges and investigates the implications of the distinct poetics of his novels.

In 'Vertical Perfection, Horizontal Inevitability: The Gold Bug Variations', Barry focuses on Powers’ third novel from 1991 and the reading strategies required to unravel the text’s polyphonic narrative structure which echoes the numerical symmetries of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. Frequently referencing Powers’ other novels, Lewis explores the simultaneously mimetic and metafictional narrative of The Gold Bug Variations as a complex interrelation of self-reference and world-reference.

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