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Queer Fish


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Table of Contents

Contents: Dover Beached: forewords; Boat Memory: Darwin's Strange Sea of Faith; Marx and Angels: The Silly Lives of Saints and Communists; Stations: Freud's Christian Trains of Thought; Subterranean Soul: Dickens' Cryptic Church; The Love that Dare Not Speak its Christian Name: Oscar Wilde's Perversion; Joycing Derrida, Churching Derrida: Glas, eglise and Ulysses; What has not yet happened': afterwords.

About the Author

John Schad is Professor of Modern Literature at Loughborough University. He is the author of The Reader in the Dickensian Mirrors and Victorians in Theory, the editor of Dickens Refigured, Thomas Hardy's A Laodicean, and Writing the Bodies of Christ; and co-editor of life.after.theory. He is currently completing a book on Clough.


"Schad's book is quirky and highly informative, theoretically sophisticated and written in a unique, distinctive voice. Expanding on Foucault's idea that a 'mad' unreasoning Christian tradition re-emerged at the 'moment' of Dostoyevsky and Nietzsche, Queer Fish has a broad scope. The first half of the book encompasses an uncanny Darwin and a prophetic Marx, and ends with Freud's religious 'train of thought'. The second half begins with the 'cryptic church' of Dickens and Wilde's queer Christianity and ends with the religious turn of Derrida read back into a postcolonial and post-Catholic Joyce. The book is essential reading for anyone wanting to make sense of the traces of Christianity in our supposedly secular age." -- Bryan Cheyette, author of Constructions of 'the Jew' in English Literature and Society (Cambridge University Press, 1993) and Muriel Spark (Northcote Press, 2000). "John Schad's account of Christian unreason makes both belief and unbelief the more relevant for us today. Queer Fish is a critical, yet always empathetic, rereading of some of the major thinkers of the last two centuries, whose influence we are still experiencing even today. The author's critical analysis inspires respect and trust, even when we disagree." -- Jonathan Dollimore, author of Political Shakespeare (Cornell University Press, 1994) and Death, Desire and Loss in Western Culture (Routledge, 1998). "The connections that Schad makes are often truly enlightening. ...The chapter on Wilde is particularly well done and exudes a genuine admiration and sympathetic understanding rarely encountered in academic writing. ...a rather extraordinary book that deserves a wide and appreciative readership." -- Kevin Mills, The Glass No.17, Spring 2005. "This important book deserves the widest possible readership because of its bold truthfulness, its spiritual power, and its timeliness. Indeed, if I had to select one book published this year that has affected me most it would be this one. It is a book about what it means to be a thoughtful Christian at this time, struggling with the inherent unreason of Christian faith on the one hand and the double assault that thinking Christians face at the present time: on the one hand, the assault from those skeptical thinkers who have abandoned faith entirely for secular culture and, on the other, from those evangelicals who (from the 19th century to now) mistakenly think that Christianity requires the abandonment of critical thought altogether for the sake of faith." -- Michael Payne, John P. Crozer Professor of English, Bucknell Universit, writing in The Daily Item. "Schad explores the ways in which echoes, traces, and revenants of Christianity survive almost subliminally in seven modern writers who might at first seem to have rejected Christianity's major tenets. Using a frankly Derridean method of investigation through puns, allusions, echoes, and hints, Schad finds evidence of Christian symbolic fish in Darwin, and saints and confessions in Marx and Engels. Further, Freud hints at the disaffected European Jew as a Christ figure; Dickens's use of church/crypt imagery offers a revealing religious presence; and Wilde, Joyce, and Derrida betray an association with the faith through their suggestive diction. ...To be savoured for its unexpected insights and intriguing comparisons. Recommended." -- Choice. "Wonderfully perceptive. ... Schad's ability to read texts closely and appreciate the multivocality of language help make Queer Fish one of the most exciting and imaginative contributions to the field of religion and literature for some time. Such attention to language may be the avowed aim of all literary critics, but few possess Schad's impressive sensitivity to the indeterminacy of texts, a sensitivity that enables him to pursue Christian unreason without falling into the trap of systematising the illogical threads he uncovers." -- Christianity and Literature.

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