Now widely regarded as one of the most important thinkers of the 20th century, the Russian writer Mikhail Bakhtin was silenced by political censorship and persecution for most of his life. In "After Bakhtin", David Lodge sketches Bakhtin's extraordinary career, and explores the relevance of his ideas - on the dialogic nature of language, on the typology of fictional discourse, and on the carnivalesque - to the writings of authors as diverse as George Eliot, James Joyce, D.H. Lawrence, Fay Weldon and Martin Amis. Further essays study particular texts - by Elizabeth Gaskell, Jane Austen, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling and Milan Kundera - illustrative of the development of the novel in its classic, modernist and postmodernist phases. Two final essays reflect on the current state of academic criticism.
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As both a novelist and academic critic, Lodge brings a special insight into the theory and practice of narrative fiction. Here he collects 13 previously published essays that use or discuss the theories of the Russian thinker Mikhail Bakhtin as a way of understanding and justifying the novel. Lodge suggests that the notion of dialog and the poetics of narrative provide more insight into the essence of the novel than the traditional categories of character and plot. He applies these to a number of novels, including those of George Eliot and Jane Austen, as well as the more recent work of Fay Weldon and Milan Kundera. Lodge's essays are both lucid and insightful. Recommended.
- T.L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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