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The Quiet Contemporary American Novel$
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Rachel Sykes

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526108876

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526108876.001.0001

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The novel of ‘(dis)quiet’

The novel of ‘(dis)quiet’

(p.151) 5 The novel of ‘(dis)quiet’
The Quiet Contemporary American Novel

Rachel Sykes

Manchester University Press

This chapter asks what happens to ‘the quiet novel’ in the noisy environment of the city. Through a discussion of two strikingly similar debut novels by Teju Cole and Ben Lerner, this chapter first examines historical and cultural notions of urban noise and, second, asks how Cole and Lerner integrate the din of the city into the body of their quiet texts. In this, the chapter asks what kinds of information can be read as quiet and what exactly determines a novel’s volume.

Keywords:   Noise, Urban, Quiet, Teju Cole, Ben Lerner, The flâneur

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