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Title Mere reading : the poetics of wonder in modern American novels / Lee Clark Mitchell.
Author Mitchell, Lee Clark, 1947- author.
Publication New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2017.
Description x, 262 pages ; 23 cm
Call # 813.09 M
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-254) and index.
Summary "Mere Reading argues for a return to the foundations of literary study established nearly a century ago. Following a recent period dominated by symptomatic analyses of fictional texts (new historicist, Marxist, feminist, identity-political), Lee Clark Mitchell joins a burgeoning neo-formalist movement in challenging readers to embrace a rationale for literary criticism that has too long been ignored--a neglect that corresponds, perhaps not coincidentally, to a flight from literature courses themselves. In close readings of six American novels spread over the past century--Willa Cather's The Professor's House, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita, Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping, Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian and The Road, and Junot Díaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao-Mitchell--traces a shifting strain of late modernist innovation that celebrates a species of magic and wonder, of aesthetic "bliss" (as Barthes and Nabokov both coincidentally described the experience) that dumbfounds the reader and compels a reassessment of interpretive assumptions. The novels included here aspire to being read slowly, so that sounds, rhythms, repetitions, rhymes, and other verbal features take on a heightened poetic status-in critic Barbara Johnson's words, "the rigorous perversity and seductiveness of literary language," thwarting pressures of plot that otherwise push us ineluctably forward. In each chapter, the return to "mere reading" becomes paradoxically a gesture that honors the intractability of fictional texts, their sheer irresolution, indeed the way in which their "literary" status rests on the play of irreconcilables that emerges from the verbal tensions we find ourselves first astonished by, then delighting in"-- Provided by publisher.
Contents Introduction: Slowing down -- Possession in The Professor's House (1925) -- Oscillation in Lolita (1955) -- Hospitality in Housekeeping (1980) -- Violence in Blood Meridian (1985) -- Talk in The Road (2006) -- Belatedness in The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) -- Epilogue: Resisting rules.
Subject American fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
American fiction -- 21st century -- History and criticism.
Wonder in literature.
Books and reading.
Criticism.
American fiction. (OCoLC)fst00807048
Books and reading. (OCoLC)fst00836454
Criticism. (OCoLC)fst00883735
Wonder in literature. (OCoLC)fst01179182
1900-2099
Genre Criticism, interpretation, etc. (OCoLC)fst01411635
Related To Online version: Mitchell, Lee Clark, 1947- Mere reading. New York : Bloomsbury Academic, 2017 9781501329661 (DLC) 2017001942
ISBN 1501329642 (paperback) :
9781501329647 (paperback) :
1501329650 (hardcover)
9781501329654 (hardcover)
1501329677
1501329669

Location CALL # Status Message
 Central 1st Fl - Lit Non-Fic  813.09 M    CHECK SHELVES  
 Central 1st Fl - Lit Non-Fic  813.09 M    CHECK SHELVES