John Limon surveys the boundaries of the global novel in this review of John Newman's The Fountain at the Center of the World and Naomi Klein's Fences and Windows. Limon traces the trajectory of plot, character, and argument in the genre, as he reads "perhaps the first great global novel."
Stephen Schryer contrasts narratological and postsecular readings of postmodernism in a review of Gerhard Hoffmann's vast study, From Modernsism to Postmodernism (2005), and John McClure's narrower but more pointed exploration, Partial Faiths (2007).
A review of John Farrell's magnificent Paranoia and Modernity: Cervantes to Rousseau, in light of contemporary literary criticism: Where Brian McHale declares an end to postmodernism, and where many discount paranoia as a passing literary interest, reviewer Tim Melley sees postmodern paranoia everywhere. As long as corporations are regarded by law as 'individuals' and conspiracy is the preferred way of understanding political and social systems, it seems that we'll remain in the longue duree of the postmodern moment.
Torill Elvira Mortensen explains the joys of the role-playing high, in which the player no longer has to contemplate how her character might act in a given situation; instead the player simply reacts as the character. Mortensen develops the case to argue that role-playing experience can lead to a cynicism about the sincerity of people's out-of-character (or real-world) personae.
Editors Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin introduce a group of essays on games that exceed the bounds of the tabletop playing session, the game console, or the computer screen - games that emerge out of, take place in, or encroach on, the real world.
Brian Willems reads a number of fictional and critical texts, from ebr essays to William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, to argue that they all point toward the dissolution of the borders among humans, animals, and machines.
Simon Critchley's study of ethics has been prominently reviewed by literary and cultural theorists, though most treatments accept the premise that ethical relations are primarily among people, that ethics depends mainly on intersubjective relations. This review by Daniel Punday resituates "Infinitely Demanding" in a networked context, one that is constructed by "media, by global flows, and by the larger network swarms which themselves take on an identity." For Punday, an ethics for our time is best found, not by the study of identities and localities, but rather by authors of contemporary fiction such as Jonathan Letham, Susan Daitch, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Cade Bambara.