Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xvi

I warmly thank all those audiences who have listened to early versions of chapters in this book. They have asked constructive questions that have helped me in revision and expansion. These audiences have included those who have attended my Critical Theory Emphasis Miniseminars over a ten-year...

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1. Theories of Community: Williams, Heidegger, and Others

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pp. 1-17

Raymond Williams’s entry for “community” in Keywords¹ is straightforward enough, though it is characteristically succinct, comprehensive, and subtle. He gives a brief history of the etymology of the word and of the different meanings the word has had since it entered the English language in the fourteenth...

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2. Trollope’s The Last Chronicle of Barset As a Model Of Victorian Community

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pp. 18-92

I advocate in the strongest terms what I call a double reading of novels. In one reading you give yourself, heart and soul, without reservation, to reading the novel. You re-create the novel’s characters and the action, topography, houses, gardens, and so on within your mind and feelings, within what might...

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3. Individual and Community in The Return of the Native

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pp. 93-138

Michael Millgate’s authoritative Thomas Hardy: His Career as a Novelist places The Return of the Native in the context of Hardy’s admiration for William Barnes’s work, especially Barnes’s poems in Dorsetshire dialect. Hardy admired the linguistic accuracy of those poems, as well as Barnes’s deep understanding...

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4. Conrad’s Colonial (Non)Community

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pp. 139-231

Henry James, in a review of Conrad’s Chance, says Conrad is “absolutely alone as a votary of the way to do a thing that shall make it undergo most doing.”² What James says would be even truer of Nostromo. Th at means anything like a complete accounting for Nostromo in a critical essay like...

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5. Waves Theory

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pp. 232-263

I propose to read Virginia Woolf’s The Waves not primarily in the context of philosophers or theorists whose work she knew or might have known but in the context of some present-day philosophical and theoretical writings. Do the six protagonists of The Waves form a community, or are they as alienated...

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6. Postmodern Communities in Pynchon and Cervantes

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pp. 264-307

My goal in this chapter is, by the art they call Tropelia, to make Cervantes’s “Th e Dogs’ Colloquy” appear to be a postmodern narrative, if there is such a thing.¹ I also want to view postmodern communities in fiction in the light of a comparison with Cervantes’s great “exemplary novel.” Why would I want...

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Coda

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pp. 308-326

My chief goal in this book has been to present comprehensive rhetorical readings of eight novels with special attention to the ways community or its lack is presented in each work. In the course of doing this, I claim also to have shown, though in a different way in each chapter, how the presumption...

Index

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pp. 327-336