Release on 2015-01-12 | by Isabelle Hervouet-Farrar,Max Vega-Ritter
Author: Isabelle Hervouet-Farrar,Max Vega-Ritter
Pubpsher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
This book provides an overview of the literary grotesque in 19th-century Europe, with special emphasis on Charles Dickens, whose use of this complex aesthetic category is thus addressed in relation with other 19th-century European writers. The crossing of geographical boundaries allows an in-depth study of the different modes of the grotesque found in 19th-century fiction. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the reasons behind the extensive use of such a favoured mode of expression. Intertextuality and comparative or cultural analysis are thus used here to shed new light on Dickens’s influences (both given and received), as well as to compare and contrast his use of the grotesque with that of key 19th-century writers like Hugo, Gogol, Thackeray, Hardy and a few others. The essays of this volume examine the various forms taken by the grotesque in 19th-century European fiction, such as, for example, the fusion of the familiar and the uncanny, or of the terrifying and the comic; as well as the figures and narrative techniques best suited for the expression of a novelist’s grotesque vision of the world. These essays contribute to an assessment of the links between the grotesque, the gothic and the fantastic, and, more generally, the genres and aesthetic categories which the 19th-century grotesque fed on, like caricature, the macabre and tragicomedy. They also examine the novelists’ grotesque as contributing to the questioning of society in Victorian Britain and 19th-century Europe, echoing its raging conflicts and the shocks of scientific progress. This study naturally adopts as its theoretical basis the works of key theorists and critics of the grotesque: namely, Victor Hugo, Charles Baudelaire and John Ruskin in the 19th century, and Mikhail Bakhtin, Wolfgang Kayser, Geoffrey Harpham and Elisheva Rosen in the 20th century.
"Edward Wasiolek, after much valuable work on Dostoevsky, has now written one of the best books on Tolstoy in recent decades. This may be in part because of his preoccupation with Tolstoy's most challenging contemporary, and the resulting sense of their unlikeness in a common pursuit. But there are other, unspeculative reasons. Few studies of Tolstoy have been so carefully pondered and so firmly organized to convince; and not so many show the flexibility and variety of its approach. Wasiolek proposes an essentially simple and consistent reading, but he advances it with subtlety and discretion."—Henry Gifford, Times Literary Supplement
Russian culture and the creation of British modernism, 1881-1922
Author: Rebecca Beasley
Pubpsher: Oxford University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Russomania: Russian Culture and the Creation of British Modernism provides a new account of modernist literature's emergence in Britain. British writers played a central role in the dissemination of Russian literature and culture during the early twentieth century, and their writing was transformed by the encounter. This study restores the thick history of that moment, by analyzing networks of dissemination and reception to recover the role of neglected as well as canonical figures, and institutions as well as individuals. The dominant account of British modernism privileges a Francophile genealogy, but the turn-of-the century debate about the future of British writing was a triangular debate, a debate not only between French and English models, but between French, English, and Russian models. Francophile modernists associated Russian literature, especially the Tolstoyan novel, with an uncritical immersion in 'life' at the expense of a mastery of style, and while individual works might be admired, Russian literature as a whole was represented as a dangerous model for British writing. This supposed danger was closely bound up with the politics of the period, and this book investigates how Russian culture was deployed in the close relationships between writers, editors, and politicians who made up the early twentieth-century intellectual class—the British intelligentsia. Russomania argues that the most significant impact of Russian culture is not to be found in stylistic borrowings between canonical authors, but in the shaping of the major intellectual questions of the period: the relation between language and action, writer and audience, and the work of art and lived experience. The resulting account brings an occluded genealogy of early modernism to the fore, with a different arrangement of protagonists, different critical values, and stronger lines of connection to the realist experiments of the Victorian past, and the anti-formalism and revived romanticism of the 1930s and 1940s future.