A colloquy on Shy

David Rudrum, Paweł Wojtas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter offers a closing discussion on Max Porter’s 2023 novel Shy in the form of a colloquy. It attempts to address some critical positions on Porter’s enigmatic latest novel by placing them into dialogue with one another. The first part of the colloquy juxtaposes Shy with the documentary Feltham Sings (2002), written by Simon Armitage, to reflect on the contrasting ways in which these texts offer social and political critique, and to speculate on Shy’s possible futures. Part two tackles the question of the novel’s ambiguous beginning and ending by elaborating on the motif of the eponymous young man’s rucksack and its role as a conduit for the themes of guilt and shame. Finally, taking as its focus the semantic hints rooted in the novel’s staging of the motif of casting stones, the third part asks questions about the complex ways in which the novel summons the reader to grapple with its ambiguities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Perspectives on Max Porter
EditorsDavid Rudrum, Paweł Wojtas, Wojciech Drąg
PublisherRoutledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781032662374
ISBN (Print)9781032662367
Publication statusPublished - 27 Feb 2024

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