In this Book

summary

The Challenge of Bewilderment treats the epistemology of representation in major works by Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and Ford Madox Ford, attempting to explain how the novel turned away from its traditional concern with realistic representation and toward self-consciousness about the relation between knowing and narration. Paul B. Armstrong here addresses the pivotal thematic experience of "bewilderment," an experience that challenges the reader’s very sense of reality and that shows it to have no more certainty or stability than an interpretative construct.

Through readings of The Sacred Fount and The Ambassadors by James, Lord Jim and Nostromo by Conrad, and The Good Soldier and Parade’s End by Ford, Armstrong examines how each writer dramatizes his understanding of the act of knowing. Armstrong demonstrates how the novelists’ attitudes toward the process of knowing inform experiments with representation, through which they thematize the relation between the understanding of a fictional world and everyday habits of perception. Finally, he considers how these experiments with the strategies of narration produce a heightened awareness of the process of interpretation.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. open access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. open access Download |
  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. open access Download |
  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xiv
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. Introduction: Bewilderment, Understanding, and Representation
  2. pp. 1-26
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. Part I: Jamesian Bewilderment: The Composing Powers of Consciousness
  2. pp. 27-28
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. 1. Interpretation and Ambiguity in The Sacred Fount
  2. pp. 29-62
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. 2. Reality and/or Interpretation in The Ambassadors
  2. pp. 63-106
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. Part II: Conradian Bewilderment: The Metaphysics of Belief
  2. pp. 107-108
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. 3. Contingency, Interpretation, and Belief in Lord Jim
  2. pp. 109-148
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. 4. The Ontology of Society in Nostromo
  2. pp. 149-186
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. Part III: Fordian Bewilderment: The Primacy of Unreflective Experience
  2. pp. 187-188
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. 5. Obscurity and Reflection in The Good Soldier
  2. pp. 189-224
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. 6. Reification and Resentment in Parade's End
  2. pp. 225-260
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. Epilogue: Bewilderment and Modern Fiction
  2. pp. 261-270
  3. open access View | Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 271-276
  3. open access View | Download |

Additional Information

ISBN
9781501722721
Related ISBN
9781501722714
MARC Record
OCLC
1057684906
Pages
320
Launched on MUSE
2018-04-06
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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.