In this Book

summary
This book records a major critic's three decades of thinking about the connection between literature and the conditions of people's lives-that is, politics. A preference for impurity and a search for how to analyze and explain it are guiding threads in this book as its chapters pursue the complex entanglements of culture,politics, and society from which great literature arises. At its core is the nineteenth-century novel, but it addresses a broader range of writers as well, in a textured, contoured, discontinuous history.The chapters stand out for a rare combination. They practice both an intensive close reading that does not demand unity as its goal and an attention to literature as a social institution, a source of values that are often created in its later reception rather than given at the outset. When addressing canonical writers-Shakespeare, Dickens, Twain, Keats, Melville, George Eliot, Flaubert, Baudelaire, and Ralph Ellison-the author never forgets that many of their texts, even Shakespeare's plays, were in their own time judged to be popular, commercial, minor, or even trashy. In drawing on these works as resources in politically charged arguments about value, the author pays close attention to the processes of posterity that validated these authors' greatness.Among those processes of posterity are the responses of other writers. In making their choices of style, subject, genre, and form, writers both draw from and differ from other writers of the past and of their own times. The critical thinking about other literature through which many great works construct their inventiveness reveals that criticism is not just a minor, secondary practice, segregated from the primary work of creativity.Participating in as well as analyzing that work of critical creativity, this volume is rich with important insights for all readers and teachers of literature.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. vii-xiv
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. I. Politics and the Canon
  2. pp. 1-2
  1. 1. The Impact of Shakespeare: Goethe to Melville
  2. pp. 3-23
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 2. The Media of Sublimity: Johnson and Lambon King Lear
  2. pp. 24-33
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 3. Hamlet, Little Dorrit, and the History of Character
  2. pp. 34-46
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 4. The Struggle for the Cultural Heritage: Christina Stead Refunctions Charles Dickens and Mark Twain
  2. pp. 47-61
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 5. The Birth of Huck’s Nation
  2. pp. 62-76
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. II. Language and Reality in the Age of the Novel
  2. pp. 77-78
  1. 6. Narrative Form and Social Sense in Bleak House and The French Revolution
  2. pp. 79-93
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 7. Rhetoric and Realism: Hyperbolein The Mill on the Floss
  2. pp. 94-110
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 8. Rhetoric and Realism; or, Marxism, Deconstruction, and Madame Bovary
  2. pp. 111-124
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 9. Baudelaire’s Impure Transfers: Allegory, Translation, Prostitution, Correspondence
  2. pp. 125-154
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. 10. Huckleberry Finn without Polemic
  2. pp. 155-168
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Notes
  2. pp. 169-194
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 195-210
  3. restricted access Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9780823248940
Related ISBN
9780823231782
MARC Record
OCLC
708566791
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2012-06-26
Language
English
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.