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Minor Characters Have Their DayGenre and the Contemporary Literary Marketplace$
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Jeremy Rosen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231177443

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231177443.001.0001

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The Real and Imaginary Politics of Minor-Character Elaboration, 1983–2014

The Real and Imaginary Politics of Minor-Character Elaboration, 1983–2014

(p.83) Chapter Two The Real and Imaginary Politics of Minor-Character Elaboration, 1983–2014
Minor Characters Have Their Day

Jeremy Rosen

Columbia University Press

Argues that the conventional form of minor-character elaboration, which becomes visible as the genre flourishes between the 1980s and the present, articulates a set of consensus values of liberal pluralism. Reading a wide range of texts produced in this period, the chapter shows how the registering of the narrative voice and psychology of a formerly minor character becomes the genre’s primary convention. While scholars have often lauded such texts for liberating the voices, of minor characters, I argue that rather than accomplishing an emancipation or posing a subversive challenge, the genre reaffirms the unique subjective experience of every individual, and the necessity of a pluralist dialogue between conflicting agendas.

Keywords:   Contemporary Literature, Genre, Conventions, Feminism, Postcolonial, Narratology, Voice

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