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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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A map, as of the 1st March 2015, of Chapter Four of the book I am slowly working on. This chapter primarily focuses on Percival Everett’s Erasure.

Chapter Four: Academic Fiction

	First chapter on legitimation
	Everett's insider status
	Summary of Erasure
	Erasure as metafiction
		Subject position of author
		High Theory references
	Disparaging towards High Theory/postmodernist approach
		Resorts to “common sense”
		Except that Ellison is a postmodern writer
	Book is problematic as both post-postmodern and “post-racial”
		Sous rature situated at co-generative emergence of post-struct and pomo
		Inner parody is mise-en-abyme
			Thus, entire text is parody
		Leads to destabilisation of legitimation

	Sincerity vs. authenticity
		Complications of psychoanalysis
		Sincerity as a check on future action
			Trust in present performance of avowal
			Empirical verification of future action
		Matrix of authenticity
			Authentic sincerity / Sincere authenticity
			Inauthentic sincerity / Sincere inauthenticity
			Authentic insincerity / Insincere authenticity
			Inauthentic insincerity / Insincere authenticity
		Shift back towards a focus on sincerity in art
			Groundhog Day as example
			In fiction, possibly defined by Wallace's manifesto documents
			Narrative that postmodern literature is parsitic on sincerity
			Adam Kelly and “Octet”
			Impossibility of a “sincere author” within a text
			Instead: persuasion/promise of necessity of composition

Writing Under Erasure, Sincerity and Legitimation
	Sincerity is opposed to strategy (rhetoric)
		Strategy dishonestly spends future reputational capital of sincerity
		Strategy depends on belief in foreknowledge of reception
	Everett's deployment of irony is sincere
		Subject matter is ironic
		So, irony, which is usually strategic, is congruous w/ subject matter
		Hyper-focalization on race but readings take post-racial ambition
		Problems of post- identities
	Despite being a book that features an academic, academia hard to place
		Mise-en-abyme parallel: Gimbel and Ellison
		Parody and nested double-negation effect
			Inner narrative nested within ironic outer
			Prize culture
				James English
			Represented within the novel
	Erasure wants readers who are educated and trained
		It also wants to disparage that reading
		Climb a ladder and then discard it
		Time to grow up, such works say, time to leave school
		Such works are post-academic fictions