Adam Zachary Newton Harvard University Press, 1995 Library of Congress PN49.N52 1995 | Dewey Decimal 809.39353
The ethics of literature, formalists have insisted, resides in the moral quality of a character, a story, perhaps the relation between author and reader. But in the wake of deconstruction and various forms of criticism focusing on difference, the ethical question has been freshly negotiated by literary studies, and to this approach Adam Newton brings a startling new thrust. His book makes a compelling case for understanding narrative as ethics. Assuming an intrinsic and necessary connection between the two, Newton explores the ethical consequences of telling stories and fictionalizing character, and the reciprocal claims binding teller, listener, witness, and reader in the process. He treats these relations as defining properties of prose fiction, of particular import in nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts.
Newton's fresh and nuanced readings cover a wide range of authors and periods, from Charles Dickens to Kazuo Ishiguro and Julian Barnes, from Herman Melville to Richard Wright, from Joseph Conrad and Henry James to Sherwood Anderson and Stephen Crane. An original work of theory as well as a deft critical performance, Narrative Ethics also stakes a claim for itself as moral inquiry. To that end, Newton braids together the ethical-philosophical projects of Emmanuel Levinas, Stanley Cavell, and Mikhail Bakhtin as a kind of chorus for his textual analyses--an elegant bridge between philosophy's ear and literary criticism's voice. His work will generate enormous interest among scholars and students of English and American literature, as well as specialists in narrative and literary theory, hermeneutics, and contemporary philosophy.
Table of Contents:
Narrative as Ethics Toward a Narrative Ethics We Die in a Last Word: Conrad's Lord Jimand Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio Lessons of (for) the Master: Short Fiction by Henry James Creating the Uncreated Features of His Face: Monstration in Crane, Melville, and Wright Telling Others: Secrecy and Recognition in Dickens, Barnes, and Ishiguro Conclusion
Reviews of this book: Newton's book will become a pivotal text in our discussions of the ethical implications of reading. He has taken into account a great deal of prior work, and written with judgment and wisdom. --Daniel Schwartz, Narrative
Reviews of this book: Newton offers elegant, provocative readings of texts ranging from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to Winesburg, Ohio, The Remains of the Day, and Bleak House...Newton's book is a rich vein of critical ore that can be mined profitably. --Choice
Reading Narrative Ethics is a powerful experience, for it engages not just the intellect, but the emotions, and dare I say, the spirit. It stands apart from recent books on ethics in literature by virtue of its severe insistence o its allegiance to an alternative ethical tradition. This alternative way of thinking--and living--has its roots in the work of the Jewish philosopher Emmanuel Levinas and finds support in the writings of Mikhail Bakhtin and Stanley Cavell...Stories, Newton asserts, are not ethical because of their morals or because of their normative logic. They are ethical because of the work they perform, in the social world, of binding teller, listener, witness, and reader to one another...This is a work of passion, integrity, commitment, and mission. --Jay Clayton, Vanderbilt University
Newton probes with admirable subtlety the key question: what do we gain--and what dangers do we run--when we fully enter the life of an 'other' through that 'other's' story? We have here a rare combination of deep and learned critical acumen with passionate love for literature and sensitivity to its nuances. --Wayne C. Booth, University of Chicago
Adam Zachary Newton writes with illuminating passion. Drawing on writers as diverse as Conrad and Henry James, Melville and Sherwood Anderson, Bakhtin and Levinas, he asks what it is to turn one's life into a story for another, and what it is to respond to, or avoid the claim of, another person's narration. He has written a wonderful, important book. --Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago
Narrative, Race, and Ethnicity in the United States, edited by James J. Donahue, Jennifer Ho, and Shaun Morgan, is the first book-length volume of essays devoted to studying the intersection of race/ethnicity and narrative theories. Each chapter offers a sustained engagement with narrative theory and critical race theory as applied to ethnic American literature, exploring the interpretive possibilities of this critical intersection. Taken as a whole, these chapters demonstrate some of the many ways that the formal study of narrative can help us better understand the racial/ethnic tensions of narrative fictions. Similarly, the essays advance the tools of narrative theory by redeploying or redesigning those tools to better account for and articulate the ways that race and ethnicity are formal components of narrative as well as thematic issues.
Recognizing that racial/ethnic issues and tensions are often contextualized geographically, this volume focuses on narratives associated with various racial and ethnic communities in the United States. By engaging with new developments in narrative theory and critical race studies, this volume demonstrates the vitality of using the tools of narratology and critical race theory together to understand how race influences narrative and how narratology illuminates a reading of race in ethnic American literature.
Narratology and Ideology: Negotiating Context, Form, and Theory in Postcolonial Narratives, edited by Divya Dwivedi, Henrik Skov Nielsen, and Richard Walsh, brings together many of the most prominent figures in the interface between narratology and postcolonial criticism. While narrative theory has for some time recognized the importance of context in the analysis of fiction, this recognition has not quickly translated into substantial work in fields like postcolonialism, where situated questions of value and ideology have been brought to the fore. Postcolonial criticism, on the other hand, has often neglected the formal qualities of fiction in preference for ideological thematic interpretations, precisely because of the suspect legacy of formalism. The volume, then, stages a meeting between these two fields, negotiating both narratological and postcolonialist concerns by addressing specific features of narrative form and technique in the ideological analysis of key postcolonial texts.
The thirteen essays in Narratology and Ideology offer compelling readings of individual novels, with a focus upon South Asian literature, that provide a cumulative case study on the value of postcolonial narratology. The essays show not only how narrative theory can be productively applied in service of postcolonial criticism but also how such attention to postcolonial fictions can challenge and refine our theoretical understanding of narrative.
Encamped within the limits of experience and "authenticity," critics today often stake out their positions according to race and ethnicity, sexuality and gender, and vigilantly guard the boundaries against any incursions into their privileged territory. In this book, Michael Awkward raids the borders of contemporary criticism to show how debilitating such "protectionist" stances can be and how much might be gained by crossing our cultural boundaries.
From Spike Lee's She's Gotta Have It to Michael Jackson's physical transmutations, from Toni Morrison's Song of Solomon to August Wilson's Fences, from male scholars' investments in feminism to white scholars' in black texts—Awkward explores cultural moments that challenge the exclusive critical authority of race and gender. In each instance he confronts the question: What do artists, scholars, and others concerned with representations of Afro-American life make of the view that gender, race, and sexuality circumscribe their own and others' lives and narratives? Throughout he demonstrates the perils and merits of the sort of "boundary crossing" this book ultimately makes: a black male feminism.
In pursuing a black male feminist criticism, Awkward's study acknowledges the complexities of interpretation in an age when a variety of powerful discourses have proliferated on the subject of racial, gendered, and sexual difference; at the same time, it identifies this proliferation as an opportunity to negotiate seemingly fixed cultural and critical positions.
New American Studies
John Carlos Rowe University of Minnesota Press, 2002 Library of Congress PS25.R69 2002 | Dewey Decimal 810.9
A clarion call for a more theoretically and politically informed approach to American Studies.
John Carlos Rowe, a leading American Studies scholar, has examined his field of study and declared it not ready for the twenty-first century. In The New American Studies, Rowe demands a reinvention of the discipline that includes a commitment to making it more theoretically informed, and he draws on the work of cultural critics, postmodernist theorists, and scholars in ethnic, gender, gay, and media studies. Rowe asserts that with American Studies' strong history of social criticism and practical pedagogy it is an easy leap to the type of progressive commitments characteristic of these areas of scholarship.
The New American Studies is a compelling combination of theory and application, synthesis and polemic. Rowe traces the evolution of American Studies over the last quarter century and looks to the future, placing the field in a postnationalist context that encompasses all of the Americas and the disparate cultural zones within. He then demonstrates the kind of literary and cultural interpretation he calls for, examining subjects ranging from Hawthorne's and James's responses to nineteenth-century sexual mores, to the ways television legitimated itself in its first few decades, to the EliÃ¡n GonzÃ¡lez custody case.
John Carlos Rowe is professor of English at the University of California, Irvine.
New Black Feminist Criticism, 1985-2000
Barbara Christian. Edited by Gloria Bowles, M. Giulia Fabi, and Arlene Keizer University of Illinois Press, 2007 Library of Congress PS153.N5C48 2007 | Dewey Decimal 810.992870899607
A passionate and celebrated pioneer in her own words
New Black Feminist Criticism, 1985-2000 collects a selection of essays and reviews from Barbara Christian, one of the founding voices in black feminist literary criticism. Published between the release of her second landmark book Black Feminist Criticism and her death, these writings include eloquent reviews, evaluations of black feminist criticism as a discipline, reflections on black feminism in the academy, and essays on Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Paule Marshall, and others.
Marcie Frank’s study traces the migration of tragicomedy, the comedy of manners, and melodrama from the stage to the novel, offering a dramatic new approach to the history of the English novel that examines how the collaboration of genres contributed to the novel’s narrative form and to the modern organization of literature. Drawing on media theory and focusing on the less-examined narrative contributions of such authors as Aphra Behn, Frances Burney, and Elizabeth Inchbald, alongside those of Samuel Richardson, Henry Fielding, and Jane Austen, The Novel Stage tells the story of the novel as it was shaped by the stage.