13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley

By Jane Smiley

Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling novelist Jane Smiley celebrates the novel–and takes us on an exciting travel via 100 of them–in this seductive and immensely lucrative literary tribute.

In her inimitable style–exuberant, candid, opinionated–Smiley explores the ability of the radical, taking a look at its heritage and diversity, its cultural effect, and simply the way it works its magic. She invitations us behind the curtain of novel-writing, sharing her personal conduct and spilling the secrets and techniques of her craft. and she or he bargains worthwhile suggestion to aspiring authors. As she works her method via 100 novels–from classics corresponding to the thousand-year-old Tale of Genji to fresh fiction through Zadie Smith and Alice Munro–she infects us anew with the eagerness for examining that's the governing spirit of this present to e-book enthusiasts all over the place.

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Even beyond the specific forms of complicity of modern science in serving and justifying the technical practices of class domination, its general epistemological posture (with its claims of agnosticism in relation to questions of substance and, by corollary, its claims of neutrality and indifference as regards its uses) defines its general ontological standing as an instrument that finds its logical home in the present technological order. Such alienated science loses the capability to realize the historical goal that generated it to mediate the emergence of the human world out of nature in a context of self-understanding and self-determination.

But if romanticism becomes the raw material of modem theory, its (critical) nature is transmuted in the course of integration into the new uncritical configuration. In particular, as I have argued, the commotive12 determinations of the differential historical situation of the romantic and modern traditions are decisive. Romanticism was located in the period of exclusion of culture from the social realm. ’14 Modern critical theory, it is generally agreed, is founded on the work of I. A. Richards and T.

S. Eliot who produced the basic perspectives for reorienting criticism toward a new object, new methodological forms, and new epistemological structure. Richards’ materialism and Eliot’s idealism combine to form a modified scientistic objectivism that displaces the subjectivist Bloomsbury approaches in favor of an object-centered criticism. It may be true that ‘to divert attention from the poet to the poem is a laudable aim ,’15 yet, ironically, the new fetish of the text abstracted from its context in the end reintroduces the subjectivism that was meant to be avoided.

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