Chapter

Communities and change: <i>Continent</i> (1986) and <i>The Gift of Stones</i> (1988)

Philip Tew

in Jim Crace

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780719069123
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701232 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719069123.003.0002
Communities and change: Continent (1986) and The Gift of Stones (1988)

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This chapter outlines a biographical sketch of Jim Crace and considers its relationship to his fictional world, focusing upon the pastoral impulse that shaped his Arcadian visions and their origin in the area in which he lived until he left school at eighteen. It analyses Craceland's dynamics and characteristics, considering it as a world apart from our own, often but not always found in an additional sixth (inhabited) continent. The chapter also considers the development of Crace's writing, from his early attempts, his career as a journalist and finally the emergence of the rhythmic prose that has come to typify Crace, with its preciseness of observed detail. Also considered are the traditional mythopoeic, storytelling and pastoral traditions that Crace incorporates so as to reinvigorate the novel, and as Eleazar M. Meletinsky explains in The Poetics of Myth (2000), ‘Twentieth-century mythification is unthinkable without humor and irony, which inevitably result when the modern is wedded to the archaic’. This combination creates the energy of Crace's comedy and yet sustains his serious themes.

Keywords: Jim Crace; Craceland; comedy; humor; irony; mythification; pastoral

Chapter.  16867 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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