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Worlds Enough

The Invention of Realism in the Victorian Novel

Elaine Freedgood

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ca. 24,99
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Princeton University Press img Link Publisher

Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Englische Sprachwissenschaft / Literaturwissenschaft

Beschreibung

A short, provocative book that challenges basic assumptions about Victorian fiction

Now praised for its realism and formal coherence, the Victorian novel was not always great, or even good, in the eyes of its critics. As Elaine Freedgood reveals in Worlds Enough, it was only in the late 1970s that literary critics constructed a prestigious version of British realism, erasing more than a century of controversy about the value of Victorian fiction.

Examining criticism of Victorian novels since the 1850s, Freedgood demonstrates that while they were praised for their ability to bring certain social truths to fictional life, these novels were also criticized for their formal failures and compared unfavorably to their French and German counterparts. She analyzes the characteristics of realism—denotation, omniscience, paratext, reference, and ontology—and the politics inherent in them, arguing that if critics displaced the nineteenth-century realist novel as the standard by which others are judged, literary history might be richer. It would allow peripheral literatures and the neglected wisdom of their critics to come fully into view. She concludes by questioning the aesthetic racism built into prevailing ideas about the centrality of realism in the novel, and how those ideas have affected debates about world literature.

By re-examining the critical reception of the Victorian novel, Worlds Enough suggests how we can rethink our practices and perceptions about books we think we know.

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Allegory, Robert Louis Stevenson, D. A. Miller, Psychoanalysis, Writer, Case study, Elizabeth Gaskell, Exploration, South Seas (genre), World literature, Adam Bede, Pierre Bourdieu, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Colonialism, Ibid (short story), Banishing, Literature, Copyright, Microorganism, First-person narrative, Modernism, Muslin, Underdevelopment, Roland Barthes, Mark Z. Danielewski, Chinese literature, Farce, Japanese literature, Amelia Edwards, The Political Unconscious, University of Cape Town, Metalepsis, Narrative, Genre, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, Postmodern literature, Middlemarch, Madame Bovary, Postmodernism, Literary criticism, Virginia Woolf, Casaubon, Slavery, Victorian literature, Scrimshaw, Fiction, Newspaper, Historical fiction, Epigraph (literature), Decolonization, Literary realism, Metafiction, Subjectivity, Fredric Jameson, T. S. Eliot, Franco Moretti, Narration, Poetry, Paratext, Supernatural fiction, Chartism, Frantz Fanon, Commodity, C. L. R. James, Jane Austen, Cosmopolitanism, Illustration, Catherine Belsey, Joke, Typee, Criticism, Rhoda Broughton, Ship, Character (arts), Mary Barton, Satire, Daniel Deronda, Modernity, George Eliot, Writing, Diegesis, English novel, Nana Sahib, Prose, Novel, Poet, Romanticism, Ideology, Intertextuality, Publishing, Technology, Allusion, Modern Language Association, Payment, Amos Tutuola, William Shakespeare, The Other Hand, Novelist, Post-structuralism, New Historicism