ABSTRACT

The introduction opens with the assertion that despite the ubiquity of collage-like juxtapositions of text and image on the Internet and in social media, collage as a literary practice has managed to retain its avant-garde dimension. Consequently, most twenty-first-century representatives of collage in Anglophone literature – David Markson, Maggie Nelson, Jenny Offill, Lance Olsen, Graham Rawle, David Shields and Steve Tomasula – are regarded as “experimental” writers. What their works have in common, the introduction argues, is an intense engagement with crisis – on the level of form as well as content. Collage and crisis, as the book aims to demonstrate, are inextricably connected: collage’s reliance on a juxtaposition of conflicting elements makes it a perfect vehicle for conveying the experience of personal, sociopolitical and artistic crises. Following an overview of several theoretical approaches to crisis – most notably, that by Lauren Berlant – the introduction outlines the structure of the ensuing chapters of the book.