Chapter

Excess, passion and the uncanny: <i>The Devil's Larder</i> (2001) and <i>Six</i> [<i>Genesis</i>] (2003)

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/9780719069123.003.0005
Excess, passion and the uncanny: The Devil's Larder (2001) and Six [Genesis] (2003)

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This chapter comments on two books published at the end of the 1990s, Quarantine and Being Dead, which together represent perhaps Jim Crace's most lauded fiction. Each seems very different from the other, but both correlate human responses, emotional and physical, to hostile environments at the edge of civilisation, away from the rhythm of people's habitual lives. Both novels present a recurrent pattern into which other recognisably Cracean elements are interwoven; the landscape itself and its place in nature subsumes and dwarfs various individuals who are faced with the issues of human belief, human identity and the universal presence of death in life and its metaphysical meaning, or lack of it. Death is immanent in life. In both texts, a sense of the mundanity of the quotidian intersects with descriptions that evoke the symbolic power of nature.

Keywords: Jim Crace; death; Quarantine; Being Dead; transformation; nature; landscape; human belief; human identity; life

Chapter.  16144 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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