Uncertain Ontologies in Twenty-First-Century Storyworlds – Style 55:3

Delighted to see the publication of this special issue of Style on uncertain ontologies in twenty-first-century storyworlds. This special issue identifies ontological uncertainty as a key concept for the study of contemporary fiction. I feel privileged I could co-edit this together with Marco Caracciolo, and for the inspiring group of scholars involved in putting together the special issue.

Editors Lieven Ameel & Marco Caracciolo, with articles by both editors and Merja Polvinen, Pieter Vermeulen, Alison Gibbons, Alice Bell, Brian McHale.

I’d be happy to send a pdf of the articles to anyone interested – just send me a mail at lieven.ameel [a] tuni.fi

From the introduction abstract:

“From climate change to the COVID-19 pandemic, the present moment is defined by the destabilizing effects of uncertain and urgently threatening futures. The articles collected in this special issue explore literary narratives that stage different aspects of this destabilization. We suggest that contemporary fiction’s emphasis on uncertainty differs from the ontological questions raised by postmodernist literature, because the “earnest ontologies” of twenty-first-century storyworlds do not primarily evoke detachment or self-referential playfulness; rather, they tend to take on direct real-world relevance.” 


Introduction: Uncertain Ontologies in Twenty-First-Century Storyworlds
Lieven Ameel and Marco Caracciolo 
Warped Writing: The Ontography of Contemporary Fiction  
Pieter Vermeulen  
Ontological Instability and Nonhuman Presence in Twenty-First-Century New York Fiction
Lieven Ameel  
Ontological Instability and the Place of the Subject in Contemporary Fiction  
Marco Caracciolo  
The Dark Inside the Prologue: Enactive Cognition and Eerie Ontology in Catherynne M. Valente’s Radiance 
Merja Polvinen  
Interpreting Fictionality and Ontological Blurrings in and between Lance Olsen’s Theories of Forgetting and there’s no place like time 
Alison Gibbons  
“It all feels too real”: Digital Storyworlds and “Ontological Resonance”  
Alice Bell  
Afterword: Earnest Ontology in the Year of the Flood  
Brian McHale

Thanks to everyone at Style and Penn State University to make this special issue happen!

Link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/style.55.3.issue-3