BROOKE-ROSE, Christine

BROOKE-ROSE, Christine
   UK novelist and academic, born in Switzerland, resident in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s, thereafter lecturer and then professor of American literature at the University of Paris VIII (Vincennes) from 1969 until her retirement in 1988. She was married 1968-75 to Jerzy PETERKIEWICZ. CB-R is widely known for critical works like A Grammar of Metaphor (1958) and A Rhetoric of the Unreal (1981), which formally assimilates the narrative strategies of sf and fantasy into those of metafiction (FABULATION) in terms compatible with Tzvetan TODOROV's theory of the fantastic. As a novelist, she is perhaps best known for early works outside the field like The Dear Deceit (1958), but has increasingly produced texts whose displacements are more than linguistic.The Middlemen: A Satire (1961) is a fantasticated NEAR FUTURE assault on the worlds of public relations. Out (1964), an sf novel, is set in a post- HOLOCAUST Afro-Eurasia in which the colour barrier has been reversed, ostensibly for medical reasons, as the "Colourless" seem to be fatally ill. Such (1966) reanimates the dead astronomer Lazarus, who tells of his experiences during death, interrogating the nature of language as he does so. Out and Such were assembled with two non-genre novels, Between (1968) and Thru (1975), as The Christine Brooke-Rose Omnibus (omni 1986). Some fantasies, including the title story, were assembled in Go when You See the Green Man Walking (coll 1969). Amalgamemnon (1984) addresses the future through words which cannot be believed, as they come from Cassandra (who also speaks as a woman). Xorandor (1986) and its sequel Verbivore (1990), which make up a series designed ostensibly for older children, feature a sentient rock, with a computer-like mentality, awakened by the information-noise of humans; in the second volume Xorandor's children - chips off the old block - shut down human communications systems to keep sane. And Textermination (1991) is a discourse on textuality, in which a large number of characters from famous novels come together in a campaign to transcend their "texts" and become "real". CB-R, with dry cunning, writes sf nouveaux romans, and challenges the genre to talk back.
   See also: WOMEN SF WRITERS.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

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