Article published in:Semblance and Signification
Edited by Pascal Michelucci, Olga Fischer and Christina Ljungberg
[Iconicity in Language and Literature 10] 2011
► pp. 343–352
Unveiling creative subplots through the non-traditional application of diagrammatic iconicity
An analysis of Kingsley Amis’s The Green Man
In literary terms, diagrammatic iconicity has generally been understood to refer to a patterned series of linguistic or syntactic textual connections. But taking a broader view of diagrammatic iconicity reveals previously invisible creative subtexts. In Kingsley Amis’s novel The Green Man (1969), critics have failed to see that Amis once again offers a fictional portrait of a former publisher. In his first novel, Lucky Jim (1954) L.S Caton was based on R.A. Caton, the operator of the small press that published Amis’s own Bright November (1947). Caton would return for cameos in each of the next six novels, until he was killed off in The Anti-Death League (1966). Perhaps critics simply forgot about Amis’s habit of venting lingering irritation with previous publishers, but the depiction of Victor Gollancz in The Green Man, his ninth novel, has gone unnoticed. Gollancz’s presence in the text clearly conveys the importance of artistic freedom, which only becomes apparent when iconic principles are applied.
Published online: 23 November 2011