Iain Banks, The Wasp Factory

Lucie Armitt (Lincoln University)
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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...I know this is a crime, and so does my father, and I think…

2469 words

Citation: Armitt, Lucie. "The Wasp Factory". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 25 March 2002 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=8095, accessed 23 June 2024.]

8095 The Wasp Factory 3 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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