A study of the relationship between narrative and history from the late-19th century to the present day. The book reconsiders the terms of modernist narrative and modernist attitudes to history, focusing on the fiction of Faulkner, Ford, Conrad, Pynchon and black American writers. It also offers a theoretical engagement with the problems of the historiography as they affected the writers concerned. The theoretical argument is illustrated with examples from well-known texts.
Historical narrative and the politics of point of view; common sense and historical narrative; Nostromo - Conrad and the "Torrent of Rubbish"; Parades End - "Has the British This or That Come to This!"; Absalom, Absalom! - The Nigger in the Woodpile; Bearing Witness - African-American Women's Fiction; in the Rathouse of History with Thomas Pynchon.