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Fact, Fiction, and Form
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Ralph W. Rader, along with Sheldon Sacks and Wayne Booth, was one of the three leading figures of the second generation of neo-Aristotelian critics. During his long career in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley, Rader published scores of essays. Fact, Fiction, and Form: Selected Essays, edited by James Phelan and David H. Richter, collects the most important of these essays, all of them written between the late 1960s and the late 1990s. These critical inquiries, which engage with a remarkable range of literary texts—Moll Flanders, Pamela, Tristram Shandy, “Tintern Abbey,” “My Last Duchess,” Barchester Towers, Lord Jim, Ulysses, and more—are a rich resource for anyone interested in criticism’s ongoing conversations about the following major issues: the concept of form, the genres of the lyric and the novel, the literary dimensions of literary history, the distinction between fiction and nonfiction, the evaluation of literary quality, and the testing of theories and of interpretations. Moreover, the essays collectively develop a distinctive, coherent, and compelling vision of literary form, purpose, and value. Rader’s vision is distinctive and coherent because it is based not on an underlying theory of language, power, history, or culture but rather on the idea that form is the means by which humans respond to fundamental aspects and conditions of their existence in the world. His vision is compelling because it includes a rigorous set of standards for adequate interpretation against which he invites his audience to measure his own readings.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. pp. 1-1
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  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. pp. 2-7
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. 8-9
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  1. Preface and Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Introduction: The Literary Theoretical Contribution of Ralph W. Rader
  2. pp. 1-28
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  1. Part I
  2. pp. 29-30
  1. 1. Fact, Theory, and Literary Explanation
  2. pp. 31-57
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  1. 2. The Concept of Genre and Eighteenth-Century Studies
  2. pp. 58-81
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  1. 3. Literary Permanence and Critical Change
  2. pp. 82-88
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  1. 4. Literary Constructs: Experience and Explanation
  2. pp. 89-106
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  1. Part II
  2. pp. 107-108
  1. 5. Literary Form in Factual Narrative: The Example of Boswell’s Johnson
  2. pp. 109-133
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  1. 6. The Dramatic Monologue and Related Lyric Forms
  2. pp. 134-154
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  1. 7. Notes on Some Structural Varieties and Variations in Dramatic “I” Poems and Their Theoretical Implications
  2. pp. 155-171
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  1. 8.Defoe, Richardson, Joyce, and the Concept of Form in the Novel
  2. pp. 172-200
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  1. Part III
  2. pp. 201-202
  1. 9. The Emergence of the Novel in England: Genre in History vs. History of Genre
  2. pp. 203-217
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  1. 10. From Richardson to Austen: “Johnson’s Rule” and The Development of the Eighteenth‑Century Novel of Moral Action
  2. pp. 218-233
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  1. 11.Tom Jones: The Form in History
  2. pp. 234-257
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  1. 12. “Big with Jest”: The Bastardy of Tristram Shandy
  2. pp. 258-267
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  1. 13. The Comparative Anatomy of Three “Baggy Monsters”: Bleak House, Vanity Fair, Middlemarch
  2. pp. 268-290
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  1. 14. Barchester Towers: A Fourth Baggy Monster
  2. pp. 291-302
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  1. 15. Lord Jiand the Formal Development of the English Novel
  2. pp. 303-317
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  1. 16. Exodus and Return: Joyce’s Ulysses and the Fiction of the Actual
  2. pp. 318-339
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  1. 17. The Logic of Ulysses, or Why Molly Had to Live in Gibraltar
  2. pp. 340-350
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 351-360
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 361-373
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