Joseph McElroy

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Steffen Hantke (Sogang University)

Joseph McElroy is one of the great contemporary American novelists, a stylist and innovator comparable only to Thomas Pynchon, William Gaddis, or Don DeLillo. Having published his first novel, A Smuggler’s Bible, in 1966, McElroy is often associated with the first wave of postmodernist writing in America. However, his unique way of responding to the postmodern challenge to narrative places him in a category of his own, either as a belated high modernist or as a practitioner of a postmodernism that exists in what he himself has called, in the subtitle of one of his novels, a “paraphase,” a transitional space that exists side by side with the predominant or overt discourse of the time.

McElroy stands aside from …

2071 words

Citation: Hantke, Steffen. "Joseph McElroy". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001 [, accessed 08 February 2023.]

3040 Joseph McElroy 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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