Book picks similar to
The Theory of the Novel by György Lukács


philosophy
theory
literary-criticism
non-fiction

The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays


Mikhail Bakhtin - 1975
    The Dialogic Imagination presents, in superb English translation, four selections from Voprosy literatury i estetiki (Problems of literature and esthetics), published in Moscow in 1975. The volume also contains a lengthy introduction to Bakhtin and his thought and a glossary of terminology.Bakhtin uses the category "novel" in a highly idiosyncratic way, claiming for it vastly larger territory than has been traditionally accepted. For him, the novel is not so much a genre as it is a force, "novelness," which he discusses in "From the Prehistory of Novelistic Discourse." Two essays, "Epic and Novel" and "Forms of Time and of the Chronotope in the Novel," deal with literary history in Bakhtin's own unorthodox way. In the final essay, he discusses literature and language in general, which he sees as stratified, constantly changing systems of subgenres, dialects, and fragmented "languages" in battle with one another.

Marxism and Literary Criticism


Terry Eagleton - 1976
    Sharp and concise, it is, without doubt, the most important work on literary criticism that has emerged out of the tradition of Marxist philosophy and social theory since the nineteenth century.

The Location of Culture


Homi K. Bhabha - 1994
    In The Location of Culture, he uses concepts such as mimicry, interstice, hybridity, and liminality to argue that cultural production is always most productive where it is most ambivalent. Speaking in a voice that combines intellectual ease with the belief that theory itself can contribute to practical political change, Bhabha has become one of the leading post-colonial theorists of this era.

Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature


Gilles Deleuze - 1975
    In contrast to traditional readings that see in Kafka's work a case of Oedipalized neurosis or a flight into transcendence, guilt, and subjectivity, Deleuze and Guattari make a case for Kafka as a man of joy, a promoter of radical politics who resisted at every turn submission to frozen hierarchies.

The World, the Text, and the Critic


Edward W. Said - 1983
    Author of Beginnings and the controversial Orientalism, Edward Said demonstrates that modern critical discourse has been impressively strengthened by the writings of Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault, for example, and by such influences as Marxism, structuralism, linguistics, and psychoanalysis. He argues, however, that the various methods and schools have had a crippling effect through their tendency to force works of literature to meet the requirements of a theory or system, ignoring the complex affiliations binding the texts to the world.The critic must maintain a distance both from critical systems and from the dogmas and orthodoxies of the dominant culture, Said contends. He advocates freedom of consciousness and responsiveness to history, to the exigencies of the text, to political, social, and human values, to the heterogeneity of human experience. These characteristics are brilliantly exemplified in his own analyses of individual authors and works.Combining the principles and practice of criticism, the book offers illuminating investigations of a number of writers--Swift, Conrad, Lukacs, Renan, and many others--and of concepts such as repetition, originality, worldliness, and the roles of audiences, authors, and speakers. It asks daring questions, investigates problems of urgent significance, and gives a subtle yet powerful new meaning to the enterprise of criticism in modern society.

The Dehumanization of Art and Other Essays on Art, Culture and Literature


José Ortega y Gasset - 1925
    In the essay, originally published in Spanish in 1925, Ortega grappled philosophically with the newness of nonrepresentational art and sought to make it more understandable to a public confused by it. Many embraced the essay as a manifesto extolling the virtues of vanguard artists and promoting their efforts to abandon the realism and the romanticism of the nineteenth century.The dehumanization of the title, which was meant descriptively rather than pejoratively, referred most literally to the absence of human forms in nonrepresentational art, but also to its insistent unpopularity, its indifference to the past, and its iconoclasm. Ortega championed what he saw as a new cultural politics with the goal of a total transformation of society.Ortega was an immensely gifted writer in the best belletristic tradition. His work has been compared to an iceberg because it hides the critical mass of its erudition beneath the surface, and because it is deceptive, appearing to be more spontaneous and informal than it really is.Princeton published the first English translation of the essay paired with another entitled Notes on the Novel. Three essays were later added to make an expanded edition, published in 1968, under the title The Dehumanization of Art and Other Essays on Art, Culture and Literature .

Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature


Erich Auerbach - 1942
    A brilliant display of erudition, wit, and wisdom, his exploration of how great European writers from Homer to Virginia Woolf depicted reality has taught generations how to read Western literature. This new expanded edition includes a substantial essay in introduction by Edward Said as well as an essay, never before translated into English, in which Auerbach responds to his critics.A German Jew, Auerbach was forced out of his professorship at the University of Marburg in 1935. He left for Turkey, where he taught at the state university in Istanbul. There he wrote "Mimesis," publishing it in German after the end of the war. Displaced as he was, Auerbach produced a work of great erudition that contains no footnotes, basing his arguments instead on searching, illuminating readings of key passages from his primary texts. His aim was to show how from antiquity to the twentieth century literature progressed toward ever more naturalistic and democratic forms of representation. This essentially optimistic view of European history now appears as a defensive--and impassioned--response to the inhumanity he saw in the Third Reich. Ranging over works in Greek, Latin, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English, Auerbach used his remarkable skills in philology and comparative literature to refute any narrow form of nationalism or chauvinism, in his own day and ours. For many readers, both inside and outside the academy, "Mimesis" is among the finest works of literary criticism ever written.

Illuminations: Essays and Reflections


Walter Benjamin - 1969
    Illuminations includes Benjamin's views on Kafka, with whom he felt the closest personal affinity, his studies on Baudelaire and Proust (both of whom he translated), his essays on Leskov and on Brecht's Epic Theater. Also included are his penetrating study on "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," an illuminating discussion of translation as a literary mode, and his thesis on the philosophy of history. Hannah Arendt selected the essays for this volume and prefaces them with a substantial, admirably informed introduction that presents Benjamin's personality and intellectual development, as well as his work and his life in dark times. Reflections the companion volume to this book, is also available as a Schocken paperback.Unpacking My Library, 1931The Task of the Translator, 1913The Storyteller, 1936Franz Kafka, 1934Some Reflections on Kafka, 1938What Is Epic Theater?, 1939On Some Motifs in Baudelaire, 1939The Image of Proust, 1929The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, 1936Theses on the Philosophy of History, written 1940, pub. 1950

The Theatre of the Absurd


Martin Esslin - 1961
    Its startling popularity marked the emergence of a new type of theatre whose proponents—Beckett, Ionesco, Genet, Pinter, and others—shattered dramatic conventions and paid scant attention to psychological realism, while highlighting their characters’ inability to understand one another. In 1961, Martin Esslin gave a name to the phenomenon in his groundbreaking study of these playwrights who dramatized the absurdity at the core of the human condition.Over four decades after its initial publication, Esslin’s landmark book has lost none of its freshness. The questions these dramatists raise about the struggle for meaning in a purposeless world are still as incisive and necessary today as they were when Beckett’s tramps first waited beneath a dying tree on a lonely country road for a mysterious benefactor who would never show. Authoritative, engaging, and eminently readable, The Theatre of the Absurd is nothing short of a classic: vital reading for anyone with an interest in the theatre.

The Romantic Manifesto


Ayn Rand - 1969
    Piercing the fog of mysticism and sentimentality that engulfs art, the essays in The Romantic Manifesto explain why, since time immemorial, man has created and consumed works of art.Ayn Rand argues that objective standards in art are possible because art is not a subjective luxury, but rather a critical need of human life—not a material need, but a need of man’s rational mind, the faculty on which his material survival depends.Ayn Rand explains the indispensable function of art in man’s life (ch. 1), the objective source of man’s deeply personal, emotional response to art (ch. 2), and how an artist’s fundamental, often unstated view of man and of the world shapes his creations (ch. 3).Turning to her own field of artistic creation, Rand elaborates (ch. 5) on her distinctive theory of literature and identifies principles by which to judge an artwork objectively. “What is Romanticism?” (ch. 6) sheds new light on the nature and philosophy of the school of literature under which Rand classified her own work. Later essays explain how contemporary art reveals the debased intellectual state of our culture (ch. 7, 8 and 9).In the final essay Rand articulates the goal of her own fiction writing as “the projection of an ideal man, as an end in itself”—and explains that she originated her philosophy as a means to this end.Table of ContentsIntroductionThe Psycho-Epistemology of ArtPhilosophy and Sense of LifeArt and Sense of LifeArt and CognitionBasic Principles of LiteratureWhat Is Romanticism?The Esthetic Vacuum of Our AgeBootleg RomanticismArt and Moral TreasonIntroduction to Ninety-ThreeThe Goal of My WritingThe Simplest Thing in the WorldIndex

Modernism: A Guide to European Literature 1890-1930


Malcolm Bradbury - 1978
    An exploration of the ideas, groupings and the social tensions that shaped the transformation of life caused by the changes of modernity in art, science, politics and philosophy

The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983-1998


Fredric Jameson - 1998
    Classic insights on pastiche, nostalgia, and architecture stand alongside essays on the status of history, theory, Marxism, and the subject in an age propelled by finance capital and endless spectacle. Surveying the debates that blazed up around his earlier essays, Jameson responds to critics and maps out the theoretical positions of postmodernism’s prominent friends and foes.Fredric Jameson has had an immense impact on our understanding of postmodernism. However, until now, his key writings on the subject have been unavailable in an accessible and affordable form. This book is designed as a short and convenient introduction to Jameson's thought for both the student and the general reader.

The Death of the Author


Roland Barthes - 1967
    Barthes's essay argues against traditional literary criticism's practice of incorporating the intentions and biographical context of an author in an interpretation of a text, and instead argues that writing and creator are unrelated.

Colonialism / Postcolonialism


Ania Loomba - 1998
    Colonialism/Postcolonialism is a comprehensive yet accessible guide to the historical and theoretical dimensions of colonial and postcolonial studies.Ania Loomba deftly introduces and examines:key features of the ideologies and history of colonialismthe relationship of colonial discourse to literaturechallenges to colonialism, including anticolonial discoursesrecent developments in postcolonial theories and historiesissues of sexuality and colonialism, and the intersection of feminist and postcolonial thoughtdebates about globalization and postcolonialismRecommended on courses across the academic disciplines and around the world, Colonialism/Postcolonialism has for some years been accepted as the essential introduction to a vibrant and politically charged area of literary and cultural study.With new coverage of emerging debates around globalization, this second edition will continue to serve as the ideal guide for students new to colonial discourse theory, postcolonial studies or postcolonial theory as well as a reference for advanced students and teachers.

The Space of Literature


Maurice Blanchot - 1955
    From the 1930s through the present day, his writings have been shaping the international literary consciousness. The Space of Literature, first published in France in 1955, is central to the development of Blanchot's thought. In it he reflects on literature and the unique demand it makes upon our attention. Thus he explores the process of reading as well as the nature of artistic creativity, all the while considering the relation of the literary work to time, to history, and to death. This book consists not so much in the application of a critical method or the demonstration of a theory of literature as in a patiently deliberate meditation upon the literary experience, informed most notably by studies of Mallarmé, Kafka, Rilke, and Hölderlin. Blanchot's discussions of those writers are among the finest in any language.