This book investigates a new form of fiction that is currently emerging in contemporary literature across the globe. 'Novels of the contemporary extreme' - from North and South America, from Europe, the Middle East and Asia - are set in a world both similar to and different from our own: a hyper real, often apocalyptic world progressively invaded by popular culture, permeated with technology and dominated by destruction. This collection of essays identifies and describes this international phenomenon, investigating the appeal of these novels' styles and themes, the reasons behind their success, and the fierce debates they provoked.
Part I. The Americas. "Right here in nowheres": American psycho and violence's critique / Naomi Mandel Telling doubles and literal-minded reading in Bret Easton Ellis's Glamorama / Henrik Skov Nielsen Posthumous voice and residual presence in Don DeLillo's The body artist / Mikko Keskinen A post-apocalyptic world: the excremental, abject female warriors of Josée Yvon / Paula Ruth Gilbert with Colleen Lester On the impossibility of being contemporary in Nelly Arcan's Folle / Martine Delvaux Media-portrayed violence in Alberto Fuguet's Tinta roja / Jason Summers Part II. Europe and the Middle East. Sadomasochism, castration and rape: Richard Morgiève's nightmare theater of primal scenes / Ralph Schoolcraft Dantec's Inferno / Lawrence R. Schehr Michel Houellebecq: a fin de siècle for the twentieth century / Sabine van Wesemael Beyond the extreme: Frédéric Beigbeder's Windows on the world / Alain-Philippe Durand Amélie Nothomb's dialectic of the sublime and the grotesque / Martine Guyot-Bender Violence biting its own tail: Martin Amis's Yellow dog / Jean-Michel Ganteau Beauty and death as simulacra in Ray Loriga's Caídos del cielo and El hombre que inventó Manhattan / Kathryn Everly Sex, drugs and violence in Lucía. Etxebarria's Amor, curiosidad, Prozac y dudas / Catherine Bourland Ross On human parts: Orly Castel-Bloom and the Israeli extreme / Adia Mendelson-Maoz.