Kelman’s Interventions

Michael Gardiner

in From Trocchi to Trainspotting

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2006 | ISBN: 9780748622320
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653393 | DOI:
Kelman’s Interventions

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This chapter looks at the important critical work of James Kelman from two periods, the first concerned with specific injustices, often a stone's throw from ‘Merchant City’, Glasgow's centre of Enlightenment, the second linking the ethics of his own narration in fiction to that of Franz Kafka, via Gilles Deleuze. It suggests that Kelman belongs to the same tradition, read via a Sartrean and post-Sartrean existentialism signaled by a close relationship with French literature and domesticated by as likely figures as Alex Trocchi and as unlikely figures as Muriel Spark. It adds that Deleuze and Guattari, along with other architects of 1968, are part of this post-Sartrean existential tradition, their main beef with Laing being that he sees the policiticisation of psychiatry as an event rather than a process.

Keywords: James Kelman; ethics; fiction; Franz Kafka; Gilles Deleuze; post-Sartrean existentialism; French literature; Guattari; Laing

Chapter.  11176 words. 

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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