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This monograph analyses the use of caricature as one of the key strategies in narrative fiction since the war. Close analysis of some of the best known post-war novelists, reveals how they use caricature to express postmodern conceptions of the self. In the process of moving away from the modernist focus on subjectivity, postmodern characterisation has often drawn on a much older satirical tradition which includes Hogarth and Gillray in the visual arts, and Dryden, Pope, Swift and Dickens in literature. Its key images depict the human as reduced to the status of an object, an animal or a machine, or the human body as dismembered to represent the fragmentation of the human spirit. Gregson argues that this return to caricature is symptomatic of a satirical attitude to the self which is particularly characteristic of contemporary culture.
Ian Gregson is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Wales, Bangor. He is the author of Contemporary Poetry and Postmodernism, The Male Image: Representations of Masculinity in Postwar Poetry and Postmodern Literature.