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ISBN: 9781250183927

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How Fiction Works

Studies the main elements of fiction, such as narrative, detail, characterization, dialogue, realism, and style. This book ois suitable for writers, readers, and those who are interested in what happens on the page.

Author: James Wood

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9780224079839

Category: Fiction

Page: 194

View: 834

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"In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a scintillating and searching study of the main elements of fiction, such as narrative, detail, characterization, dialogue, realism, and style. In his first full-length book of criticism, one of the most prominent critics of our time takes the machinery of story-telling apart to ask a series of fundamental questions: What do we mean when we say we 'know' a fictional character? What constitutes a 'telling' detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is realism realistic? Why do most endings of novels disappoint? Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Beatrix Potter, from the Bible to John Le Carre, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, it incisively sums up two decades of bold, often controversial, and now classic critical work, and will be enlightening to writers, readers, and anyone interested in what happens on the page."

How Fiction Works

What is imaginative sympathy? Why does fiction move us? These are old questions, some of which have been resuscitated by recent work in academic criticism ...

Author: James Wood

Publisher: Random House

ISBN: 9781446414484

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 208

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Rediscover this deep, practical anatomy of the novel from 'the strongest ... literary critic we have' (New York Review of Books) in this new revised 10th anniversary edition. What do we mean when we say we 'know' a fictional character? What constitutes a 'telling' detail? When is a metaphor successful? Is realism realistic? Why do most endings of novels disappoint? In the tradition of E. M. Forster's Aspects of the Novel and Milan Kundera's The Art of the Novel, How Fiction Works is a study of the main elements of fiction, such as narrative, detail, characterization, dialogue, realism, and style. In his first full-length book of criticism, one of the most prominent critics of our time takes the machinery of story-telling apart to ask a series of fundamental questions. Wood ranges widely, from Homer to Beatrix Potter, from the Bible to John Le Carré, and his book is both a study of the techniques of fiction-making and an alternative history of the novel. Playful and profound, it incisively sums up two decades of bold, often controversial, and now classic critical work, and will be enlightening to writers, readers, and anyone interested in what happens on the page. 'Should find a place on every novel-lover's shelf. It has the quality all useful works of criticism should have: refined taste, keen observation, and the ability to make the reader argue, passionately, with it' Financial Times

The Book Against God

The story of a husband and wife, a father and son, faith and disbelief, and a hero who couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it, The Book Against God is at once hilarious and poignant; it introduces an original comic voice—edgy, ...

Author: James Wood

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9781429932127

Category: Fiction

Page: 272

View: 263

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A Passionate, Profoundly Funny First Novel from "the Best Literary Critic of His Generation" (Adam Begley, Financial Times) Thomas Bunting, the charming, chaotic, and deeply untruthful narrator of James Wood's wonderful first novel, is in despair. His marriage is disintegrating and his academic career is in ruins: instead of completing his philosophy Ph.D. (still unfinished after seven years), he is secretly writing what he hopes will be his masterwork, a vast atheistic project he has privately entitled "The Book Against God." But when his father suddenly falls ill, Thomas returns to the tiny village in the north of England where he grew up and where his father still works as a parish priest. There, Thomas hopes, he may finally be able to communicate honestly with his father, a brilliant and formidable Christian example, and sort out his own wayward life. But Thomas is a chronic liar as well as an atheist, and he finds, instead, that once at home he soon reverts to the evasive patterns of his childhood years—with disastrous results. The story of a husband and wife, a father and son, faith and disbelief, and a hero who couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it, The Book Against God is at once hilarious and poignant; it introduces an original comic voice—edgy, elegiac, lyrical, and indignant—and, in the irrepressible Thomas Bunting, one of the strangest philosophers in contemporary fiction.

The Broken Estate

Introduces a new kind of humanist criticism that judges literature through its connection with the soul.

Author: James Wood

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 9780312429560

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 304

View: 103

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Introduces a new kind of humanist criticism that judges literature through its connection with the soul.

Serious Noticing

The definitive collection of literary essays by The New Yorker’s award-winning longtime book critic Ever since the publication of his first essay collection, The Broken Estate, in 1999, James Wood has been widely regarded as a leading ...

Author: James Wood

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 9780374722043

Category: Literary Collections

Page: 528

View: 118

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The definitive collection of literary essays by The New Yorker’s award-winning longtime book critic Ever since the publication of his first essay collection, The Broken Estate, in 1999, James Wood has been widely regarded as a leading literary critic of the English-speaking world. His essays on canonical writers (Gustav Flaubert, Herman Melville), recent legends (Don DeLillo, Marilynne Robinson) and significant contemporaries (Zadie Smith, Elena Ferrante) have established a standard for informed and incisive appreciation, composed in a distinctive literary style all their own. Together, Wood’s essays, and his bestselling How Fiction Works, share an abiding preoccupation with how fiction tells its own truths, and with the vocation of the writer in a world haunted by the absence of God. In Serious Noticing, Wood collects his best essays from two decades of his career, supplementing earlier work with autobiographical reflections from his book The Nearest Thing to Life and recent essays from The New Yorker on young writers of extraordinary promise. The result is an essential guide to literature in the new millennium.

Jane Urquhart

1 How Fiction Works The Whirlpool JOHN MOSS Jane Urquhart's The Whirlpool ( 1986 ) is not a perfect novel , but it is so powerful , well crafted , and of ...

Author: Laura Ferri

Publisher: Guernica Editions

ISBN: 1550711865

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 151

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Jane Urquhart has published three books of poetry, a collection of short stories and five best-selling novels. Her fiction has won many honours including Canada's 1997 Governor General's Award, and France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger. She lives in Ontario, Canada. The essays in this book investigate Urquhart's interweaving of historical events, myth, folk tales, journeys and landscape with her acute perceptions of memory and transformation. The many critical voices in this collection invite readers to consider Urquhart's very special vision of the world, one made up of migrations, dreams, spiritual quests and prophecy.

The Critic in the Modern World

How Fiction Works, 186. Catherine Gallagher, 'The Rise of Fictionality', The Novel, Volume 1: History, Geography, and Culture, edited by Franco Moretti ...

Author: James Ley

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781623568276

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 240

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The Critic in the Modern World explores the work of six influential literary critics-Samuel Johnson, William Hazlitt, Matthew Arnold, T.S. Eliot, Lionel Trilling and James Wood-each of whom occupies a distinct historical moment. It considers how these representative critics have constructed their public personae, the kinds of arguments they have used, and their core principles and philosophies. Spanning three hundred years of cultural history, The Critic in the Modern World considers the various ways in which literary critics have positioned themselves in relation to the modern tradition of descriptive criticism. In providing a lucid account of each critic's central principles and philosophies, it considers the role of the literary critic as a public figure, interpreting him as someone who is compelled to address the wider issues of individualism and the social implications of the democratising, secularising, liberalising forces of modernity.

21st Century Philosophy

As the chapter develops, we shall see that how fiction works is essentially an investigation into absences – not necessarily in the Continental ...

Author: James Ward

Publisher: Cool Millennium

ISBN:

Category: Philosophy

Page:

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21st Century Philosophy uses selected popular texts, all written in the last decade, as a window through which to examine contemporary social and cultural issues. What are the long-term prospects for ‘New Atheism’? On balance, is the United States chiefly a force for good, or is it bent on hegemony? Is the optimism of the Enlightenment a historical curiosity, or can it be revived? To what extent can quality fiction enlarge the modern imagination, and how far are we stuck in a rut of banality? What is the connection between academic ideals and the proliferation of kitsch? What light can Rousseau or Russell, Hume or Heidegger, Schopenhauer or Sartre shed on these sorts of questions - if any? The book consists of eight essays that can be read in any order, with a combined length of over 80,000 words. The author has a master’s degree and a DPhil, both in Philosophy from Sussex University. His doctoral thesis was examined in viva and passed unconditionally by David McLellan, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Kent and author of many standard texts about Marx in English. In 1998, James Ward won joint first prize (along with Martha Nussbaum and Lars Gårding) in a philosophical dialogues competition organised by the Humanities Research Centre at Oxford University and the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. Its subject was Søren Kierkegaard. The dialogue was performed at the Royal Dramatic Theatre, Stockholm, in front of an invited audience, and subsequently published in Comparative Criticism vol. 20 (Cambridge University Press, 1998).

How Literature Works

... Barchester Towers); fiction pretending to be a collection of letters (like Richardson's Clarissa) — anything but what it was in fact, a work of fiction.

Author:

Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education

ISBN: 9781349221523

Category:

Page: 288

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Essentials of the Theory of Fiction

This third edition of the bestselling Essentials of the Theory of Fiction provides a comprehensive view of the theory of fiction from the nineteenth century through modernism and postmodernism to the present.

Author: Michael J. Hoffman

Publisher: Duke University Press

ISBN: 9780822386599

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 520

View: 368

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What accounts for the power of stories to both entertain and illuminate? This question has long compelled the attention of storytellers and students of literature alike, and over the past several decades it has opened up broader dialogues about the nature of culture and interpretation. This third edition of the bestselling Essentials of the Theory of Fiction provides a comprehensive view of the theory of fiction from the nineteenth century through modernism and postmodernism to the present. It offers a sample of major theories of fictional technique while emphasizing recent developments in literary criticism. The essays cover a variety of topics, including voice, point of view, narration, sequencing, gender, and race. Ten new selections address issues such as oral memory in African American fiction, temporality, queer theory, magical realism, interactive narratives, and the effect of virtual technologies on literature. For students and generalists alike, Essentials of the Theory of Fiction is an invaluable resource for understanding how fiction works. Contributors. M. M. Bakhtin, John Barth, Roland Barthes, Wayne Booth, John Brenkman, Peter Brooks, Catherine Burgass, Seymour Chatman, J. Yellowlees Douglas, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Wendy B. Faris, Barbara Foley, E. M. Forster, Joseph Frank, Joanne S. Frye, William H. Gass, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Gérard Genette, Ursula K. Heise, Michael J. Hoffman, Linda Hutcheon, Henry James, Susan S. Lanser, Helen Lock, Georg Lukács, Patrick D. Murphy, Ruth Ronen, Joseph Tabbi, Jon Thiem, Tzvetan Todorov, Virginia Woolf

Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage

Making and Unmaking the Postcolonial Novel Frances A. Johnson ... 8 Wood,How Fiction Works, 187. 9 How Fiction Works, 186–87.

Author: Frances A. Johnson

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004311671

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 354

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Australian Fiction as Archival Salvage examines developments in the Australian postcolonial historical novel from 1989 to the present, including seminal experiments in the genre by Kate Grenville, Mudrooroo, Kim Scott, Peter Carey, Rohan Wilson and others.

How Writing Works

At the beginning of every new writing class, I pass on to my students Henry James's advice in The Art of Fiction (1884): 'Try to be one of those on whom ...

Author: Roslyn Petelin

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000476408

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 330

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This is an engaging and practical introduction to the elements of grammar, sentence structure, and style that you need to write well across a range of academic, creative, and professional contexts, deftly combining practical strategies with scholarly principles. The second edition includes updated material based on a longstanding commitment to writing and to best international practice. It includes advice on reading; language; grammar and style; structuring; designing; paragraphing; punctuation; workplace and academic documents; digital writing for social media; and revising, editing, and proofreading. How Writing Works should be on the desk of everyone who needs to write: students, professionals in all fields, and creative writers. It is an essential handbook for working writers and writing workers in the contemporary writing-reliant workplace. The accompanying companion website includes video interviews and presentations from leading grammarians including Professor David Crystal and Professor Geoff Pullum, in addition to online quizzes and activities to support readers’ learning.

David Lodge and the Tradition of the Modern Novel

with the no-nonsense title How Fiction Works (2008), James Wood mentions John Ruskin's The Elements of Drawing, and says that “there are surprisingly few ...

Author: J. Russell Perkin

Publisher: McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP

ISBN: 9780773591806

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 225

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David Lodge is a much-loved novelist and influential literary critic. Examining his career from his earliest publications in the late 1950s to his more recent works, David Lodge and the Tradition of the Modern Novel identifies Lodge's central place within the canon of twentieth-century British literature. J. Russell Perkin argues that liberalism is the defining feature of Lodge's identity as a novelist, critic, and Roman Catholic intellectual, and demonstrates that Graham Greene, James Joyce, Kingsley Amis, Henry James, and H.G. Wells are the key influences on Lodge's fiction. Perkin also considers Lodge's relationship to contemporary British novelists, including Hilary Mantel, Julian Barnes, and Monica Ali. In a study that is both theoretically informed and accessible to the general reader, Perkin shows that Lodge's work is shaped by the dialectic of modernism and the realist tradition. Through an approach that draws on diverse theories of literary influence and history, David Lodge and the Tradition of the Modern Novel provides the most thorough treatment of the novelist's career to date.

The Book Against God

THE BOOK AGAINST GOD explores questions of belief and unbelief, truth and lies, the relation of father and son, and husband and wife, in a tone that is at once poignant and funny.

Author: James Wood

Publisher: Vintage Books USA

ISBN: 0099453576

Category: Belief and doubt

Page: 256

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Thomas Bunting, the charming, chaotic, and deeply untruthful narrator of James Wood's wonderful first novel, is in despair. His marriage is disintegrating, and his academic career is in ruins- instead of completing his philosophy PhD (still unfinished after seven years), he is secretly writing what he hopes will be his masterwork, a vast atheistic project he has privately entitled THE BOOK AGAINST GOD. But when his father is suddenly taken ill Thomas returns home, to the tiny village in the north of England where he grew up, and where his father still works as a parish priest. Thomas hopes that at home he may finally be able to communicate honestly with his father, a brilliant and formidable Christian example, and sort out his wayward life. But Thomas is a chronic liar, as well as an atheist, and he finds, instead, that once at home he only falls back into the disastrous and evasive patterns of his childhood years. James Wood's novel brings a new comic voice to British fiction- edgy, lyrical, intellectual and passionate. THE BOOK AGAINST GOD explores questions of belief and unbelief, truth and lies, the relation of father and son, and husband and wife, in a tone that is at once poignant and funny. Above all, it introduces readers to the irrepressible presence of its narrator, Thomas Bunting, liar, doubter, and the strangest philosopher in contemporary fiction.

Literary Fiction

A focus on the meaning of the literary work is characteristic of ... All in all, literary theory has yet to explain how the fictional text is converted into ...

Author: Geir Farner

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 9781623560256

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 336

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Insofar as literary theory has addressed the issue of literature as a means of communication and the function of literary fiction, opinions have been sharply divided, indicating that the elementary foundations of literary theory and criticism still need clarifying. Many of the "classical" problems that literary theory has been grappling with from Aristotle to our time are still waiting for a satisfactory solution. Based on a new cognitive model of literature as communication, Farner systematically explains how literary fiction works, providing new solutions to a wide range of literary issues, like intention, function, evaluation, delimitation of the literary work as such, fictionality, suspense, and the roles of author and narrator, along with such narratological problems as voice, point of view and duration. Covering a wide range of literary issues central to literary theory, offering new theories while also summarising the field as it stands, Literary Fiction will be a valuable guide and resource for students and scholars of the theory of literature.

Searching for the Self

In the following paragraphs of this subsection, I rely on the work of two ... See the succinct discussion of convention in Wood, How Fiction Works, 233–35.

Author: Adrian T. Smith

Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers

ISBN: 9781498298360

Category: Religion

Page: 348

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"Who am I?" If you are unsure of your personal identity, you are not alone. Our postmodern culture multiplies identity-crisis. Identity comes from story--the better our story, the healthier our identity and our behavior. Searching for the Self helps you discover your own story, and discern how cultural narratives shape your behavior. Channeling the ancient wisdom of classic stories--including Christian Scripture viewed as true story--this book offers hope to anyone searching for a better story to live by. Searching for the Self provides a groundbreaking synthesis of narrative psychology, cultural analysis, biblical studies, and English Literature 101--all written in an engaging style and interwoven with revealing personal anecdotes.

Imagining and Knowing

2 How fiction works This chapter continues my defence of the importance of imagination for understanding fiction. Here I focus particularly on the issue of ...

Author: Gregory Currie

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780199656615

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

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Works of fiction are works of the imagination and for the imagination. Gregory Currie energetically defends the familiar idea that fictions are guides to the imagination, a view which has come under attack in recent years. Responding to a number of challenges to this standpoint, he argues that within the domain of the imagination there lies a number of distinct and not well-recognized capacities which make the connection between fiction and imagination work. Currie then considers the question of whether in guiding the imagination fictions may also guide our beliefs, our outlook, and our habits in directions of learning. It is widely held that fictions very often provide opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge and of skills. Without denying that this sometimes happens, this book explores the difficulties and dangers of too optimistic a picture of learning from fiction. It is easy to exaggerate the connection between fiction and learning, to ignore countervailing tendencies in fiction to create error and ignorance, and to suppose that claims about learning from fiction require no serious empirical support. Currie makes a case for modesty about learning from fiction--reasoning that a lot of what we take to be learning in this area is itself a kind of pretence, that we are too optimistic about the psychological and moral insights of authors, that the case for fiction as a Darwinian adaptation is weak, and that empathy is both hard to acquire and not always morally advantageous.

Defining Dystopia

Oatley explains how empathy in fiction may work: “In [a first part], from information offered by the author we infer the emotions of an other (a fictional ...

Author: Christine Lehnen

Publisher: Tectum Wissenschaftsverlag

ISBN: 9783828864924

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 156

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Dystopian fiction is booming. Booksellers can barely make enough room for all the works of 'young adult' dystopian fiction being published, and 'adult' dystopias continue to dominate the bestseller lists. But how do 'young adult' dystopias relate to 'adult' dystopias? By examining two recent works of dystopian fiction, The "Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins and "The Circle" by Dave Eggers, Christine Lehnen re-negotiates and stabilises the definition of the dystopian genre. In doing so, she incorporates recent findings from literary criticism, narrative research, and psychology on the effect of texts, considering fiction as a simulation of the social world. In exploring Iiterature's unique performance capabilities, such as emotional effect and foregrounding, this analysis aims to outline some answers to the question of what the dystopian genre is today.

American Literature in Transition 2000 2010

James Wood, “What the Dickens?,” Guardian, November 9, 2001. 4 Wood, How Fiction Works (New York: Farrar, 2008), 105. 5 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 ...

Author: Rachel Greenwald Smith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9781108548656

Category: Literary Criticism

Page:

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American Literature in Transition, 2000–2010 illuminates the dynamic transformations that occurred in American literary culture during the first decade of the twenty-first century. The volume is the first major critical collection to address the literature of the 2000s, a decade that saw dramatic changes in digital technology, economics, world affairs, and environmental awareness. Beginning with an introduction that takes stock of the period's major historical, cultural, and literary movements, the volume features accessible essays on a wide range of topics, including genre fiction, the treatment of social networking in literature, climate change fiction, the ascendency of Amazon and online booksellers, 9/11 literature, finance and literature, and the rise of prestige television. Mapping the literary culture of a decade of promise and threat, American Literature in Transition, 2000–2010 provides an invaluable resource on twenty-first century American literature for general readers, students, and scholars alike.