D.M. Thomas is one of the most controversial writers of our time - considered by some a major voice in contemporary fiction, by others a dubious literary 'impostor' who repeatedly appropriates female sexuality, the holocaust and the work of other writers for personal gain. Though best known for his best-selling novel The White Hotel, he has written twelve other novels and is also an acclaimed poet and translator of Russian literature. This, the first book-length study of his work, suggests that what troubles people about Thomas' work is the way it presents literature as a complex process of collaboration, translation, and improvisation. Central to this is Thomas' distinctive practice of uncannily impersonating the voices of other writers, thus destabilising conventional categories like authorship, originality and the self. the book considers the influence of Russian literature on Thomas' work, his interest in Freud and psychoanalysis, and his commitment to finding suitable literary form to reflect the ways in which the uniquely violent, often nightmarish events of our times intersect with the desires and fantasies within us all.
Bran Nicol is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Portsmouth.
216 × 138 mm
June 1, 2004
Writers and their Work