Novel-writing and novel-reading an impersonal explanation synonym

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Novel-writing and novel-reading an impersonal explanation synonym

Seven years ago the thought of writing a book about Lukacs and the philosophy of the novel had not even occurred to me. When I found myself, through dint of some unimaginable concatenation of circumstances, assigned to teach a course in literary theory I picked on Lukacs's The Theory of the Novel TN because it seemed to me then, and still does, the most philosophical account of the novel available.

Teaching it was an exciting and infuriating experience. It was exciting, both for me and my students because its grand Hegelian movement really did seem to illuminate the nature of the novel; it was infuriating because the detail of its argument, indeed the very structure of its argument, remained elusive.

In the casual offer to give a paper on Lukacs at a conference on Marxist literary theory was the catalyst for bringing my thoughts on Lukacs together.

Several commentators on TN had noted the continuity between it and Lukacs's seminal work History and Class Consciousness. I decided, then, that it would be a worthwhile exercise to try to read his pre-Marxist theory of the novel from the perspective of his Marxist social theory. Thus the present work was born.

In fact, a great deal has been written about TN- These writings fall into roughly three categories. First, there are those historical accounts which attempt to place, it in the context of the development of the young Lukacs from bourgeois to Marxist. Their scholarship has put all students of Lukacs in their debt.

Secondly, there are several short essays.

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The best of these - those by Paul de Man, Maire Kurrick and Ferenc Feher are worthy of separate mention - are interesting and acute in their criticisms. Unavoidably, however, in virtue of their length, these essays are all viii Preface ix schematic, more schematic in fact than the original.

Finally, there are those writers who have simply used Lukacs's ideas in TJVin the construction of their own literary theories.

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None of this would be worrying or out of order were it not for the existence of claims like Adorno's, for example, that TJVset a standard for philosophical aesthetics that has remained to this day; or Harry Levin's statement that TJV in 'possibly the most penetrating essay that ever addressed itself to the elusive subject of the novel'.

In other words, there appears to be a consensus about the importance of Lukacs's essay without there existing anything like a credible or rigorous evaluation of what the theory states.

There are, I suspect, a number of reasons for this state of affairs. The extraordinarily condensed character of his argument combined with his predilection for employing abstract nouns instead of concrete examples certainly help make Lukacs's essay easier to praise or allude to than analyse.

The overtly Hegelian structure of his argument equally makes his essay difficult to analyse in a culture where Hegelian habits of thought are alien in the extreme.

Then there is the issue of the genre of the essay. Part of the difficulty here, I suspect, is that we are ourselves not quite sure of what separates literary theory from the philosophy of literature; and no matter how we construe that difference, or the difference between those modes of analysis and the sociology of literature, Lukacs's conception of philosophical-historical analysis will not fit into any of our established modes of theoretical analysis.

Finally, there is the simple fact that neither Marxists, nor liberals, nor theoretical post- modernists feel strategically obliged either to defend or refute him. In what follows I have tried to make Lukacs's argument sufficiently precise for detailed objections to it to be raised.

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In order to achieve this, I have adopted the method of philosophical reconstruction rather than historical or textual analysis. Such a methodology involves taking what appears to be the 'truth' of the text in question and constructing one's analysis of the remainder of the text around this initial insight.

As will x Preface become evidem, my method of hermeneutical analysis is equally the method I believe Lukacs was employing. Further, since I begin with what I take to be the 'truth' of what Lukacs was saying, this essay naturally turns into an argumentative defence of his theory.

This involves me in occasionally employing a terminology that Lukacs did not have at his disposal. These departures from Lukacs's own usages will be justified if they help clarify the status of his argument.

While I have tried to be clear and precise about questions of methodology and genre, I have been unable to avoid Lukacs's abstractness. What I have tried to do is make that abstract vocabulary itself more precise and a great deal more accessible to the philosophically untutored reader.

Finally, I claim that once the details of Lukacs's theory become clear, it becomes evident that in TJV we have the rudiments of a Marxist theory of the novel. I am painfully aware that in defending Lukacs's theory in this way I have accumulated as many philosophical debts as I pay off for Lukacs.

The ones to which I am most sensitive are my construal of his philosophy of praxis in the opening chapter, my arguments concerning the nature of narratives in general in Chapter IV, and my theory about the narrative character of personal identity in Chapters V and VII.

And then there is all that I have not said about my reading of Kant and my construal of transcendental subjectivity. I hope to be able to settle at least some of these debts in a forthcoming study, provisionally entitled Identity and Totality: Interpretation and Representation in Social Theory.

It is my pleasure to record here my thanks to Peter Hulme for his indispensable comments on the penultimate draft of this essay. Terry Eagleton's extensive comments on what is now the final chapter of this study alerted me to some egregious errors in the argument there.

I hope the argument in Chapter III will convince him that Lukacs's conception of'the novel' is not an ideal type. Gillian Rose's encouragement is of a different order:See, for instance, Howells, 's statements regarding female readers in his essay, “Novel-Writing and Novel-Reading: An Impersonal Explanation,” The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 4th ed., ed.

Baym, Nina et al. Posts about novel written by Jerod Scott.

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Me and my friends’ Kim (Williams-Justesen) and Joe (Ostler) talked about forming our own critique group for many months . 'The Report is to be presented in the “impersonal past tense” e.g. Personal – I worked in the Design Department. Impersonal – The work was carried out in the Design Department.' I'm finding it hard to write in the impersonal paste tense.

I keep writing things like "I did this, I was given that to do". The novel Ulysses by James Joyce is set in Dublin, Ireland, the action taking place on a single day, 16 June The action of the novel takes place from one side of Dublin Bay to the other, opening in Sandycove to the South of the city and closing on Howth Head to the North.

explaining in big letters, everything else can be smaller. Parts of it can be done with pictures, so long as they can explain the ideas thoroughly when they present.

novel-writing and novel-reading an impersonal explanation synonym

Since its emergence in the 19th century, fantasy fiction has proliferated throughout the world, from the global craze of Lord of the Rings () to Harry Potter (). As a sub-genre of fantasy based on Chinese traditional mythology and martial arts literature, Xuanhuan novels have achieved immense popularity among both critics and readers (Gai, ).

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