Iain Banks: The Wasp Factory

(2469 words)
  • Lucie Armitt (Lincoln University )

Iain Banks is a writer whose work embraces darkness: the darkness of the gothic, of the postmodern, of the body in all its abject excesses. The Wasp Factory, his first novel, is characteristically dark and sets itself up as a hybrid form straddling the literary modes of the postmodern and the gothic. Frank Cauldhame, the central protagonist, is a disturbed young man in late adolescence who inhabits an all-male household comprising three sick members: himself, his disabled and, it turns out, psychologically disturbed father, and his criminally insane older brother, Eric. Frank is, more than most, branded by familial dysfunction. As he tells us: “I was never registered. I have no birth certificate, no National Insurance number.…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Armitt, Lucie. "The Wasp Factory". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 March 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8095, accessed 29 November 2015.]