Dossier of the Muses
International Journal of Literary Studies of Govt. College for Women M. A. Road Srinagar

An International Journal of Literary Studies of Govt. College for Women M. A. Road Srinagar is a bi-annual peer-reviewed refereed e-journal of Govt. College for Women M. A. Road Srinagar and is pleased to announce a Call for Papers for the special issue on John Updike with special focus on Reconstructing Contemporary America in John Updike.

Volume 2 . Issue 1 July, 2023

Call for Papers

“My fiction about the daily doings of ordinary people has more history in it than history books”, claimed the contemporary American novelist John Updike in an interview with Charles Thomas Samuels. An undeviating devotee of realism, Updike in his lurid and

prolific canon offered us kaleidoscopic snapshots of contemporary America. Perhaps no contemporary American novelist has been able to portray American middle-class suburbia from its very centre with such thoroughness, warts and all.

Unlike many of his fellow novelists who captured historical moments and apocalyptic turns of history, Updike chose to replicate the normal, quotidian, day-to-day flux of daily lives of American middle-classes with their smiles and tears, love and adultery, rapture and rupture, attitudes and platitudes with his realistic camera. . In his “Introduction” to Rabbit Angstrom: A Tetralogy Updike claimed that “the character of Harry ‘Rabbit’ Angstrom was for me a way in—a ticket to the America all around me”, and claimed that the Tetralogy was “a kind of running report on the state of my hero and his nation”. In his famous “Rabbit Tetralogy” Updike offered us a living commentary, as it were, of his contemporary American issues as social unrest, drug abuse, sex, racism, the flight to the moon, the gasoline shortage, women’s movement, Civil Rights protests, Black Power, Vietnam War, Pan American Flight 103, the impending collapse of Soviet Union, etc. With his keen sense of verisimilitude Updike captured the Zeitgeist of post-war America in his “Rabbit Tetralogy”. Updike’s interest in contemporary American politics may be found in the debate between John Hook and Stephen Connor over the issues of President Lincoln, President Buchanan, welfare state and the sordidness of slavery in Poorhouse Fair, while his novel Memories of Ford Administration, and also in his only play Buchanan Dying are overtly political in terms of his portrayal of President Buchanan. His preoccupations with the “three great secret things”, namely, sex, religion, and art are splintered throughout his oeuvre in which sex occupies a seminal position. That said Updike ushered in the Sexual Revolution with the publication of his Couples. If he has dwelled on marriage and adultery of American middle-class, he also pitched his tent in foreign shores in novels like The Coup and Brazil. The import of 9/11 did not elude his powerful antenna, and his Terrorist gives vent to his anxiety of the becoming rather than being of a terrorist because of religious fundamentalism. This special issue on John Updike invites essays on Updike between 3000-5000 words in any of the following issues on American contemporaneity as reflected in Updike’s canon:

  • Love, Marriage, and Adultery in Updike
  • Religious and Moral Debates in Updike
  • Updike and Contemporary Politics
  • Updike and the Domestic Centre
  • Updike and the World
  • Updike and Art
  • Updike and Art
  • Updike and Science

Submission Details

  • Deadline for Submission May 15, 2023
  • Communication of Acceptance/Request for Revisions: May 25, 2023
  • Revisions till May 30, 2023

All correspondence regarding contribution must be with the Editors of Dossier of the Muses, International Journal of Literary Studies, Govt. College for Women, M.A. Road Srinagar. J&K, 190001, India.

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