Nancy Armstrong, How Novels ThinkFor the most part, however, the essays share the generational issues that Zimmerman would have recognized and embraced. All readers, however, should come away with a sense of the warmth, camaraderie, and respect that each of the contributors brings to the mission of celebrating the life and work of Everett Zimmerman. New York: Columbia, In the Acknowledgments, Ms. Armstrong tells us that this book is based on conversations with graduate students and talks she gave on the novel.
Nancy Armstrong, introduction for "Biological Turn" symposium
How Novels Think : The Limits of Individualism from 1719-1900
Switch to classic view. The goal of The Ideas in Things is to redress this situation, restoring to objects in Victorian fiction some of the semiotic richness that, Freedgood claims, their novelistic context obscures. The book thus speaks to the continued pull of the realist impulse in criticism, in the guise of a promise to reveal the truth behind appearances. But readers are also said to find comfort in the ignorance this repression makes possible. More familiar is the kind of reader who or reading that supplements textual analysis with what feels like an admonitory trip to the library, in which what is inevitably discovered is a scene, similar to those described here, of repressed or disguised violence: the reader Eve Sedgwick identified some time ago as the agent or perhaps victim, or perhaps both of a certain kind of paranoia. Thus while Freedgood provides exemplary illustrations of the genre as well as a fluid and intelligent theoretical justification for it, readers will not be surprised to find that mahogany in Jane Eyre , tobacco in Great Expectations , and cotton curtains in Mary Barton tell roughly the same story as the tea, sugar, and other goods that circulate throughout Victorian realist fiction as they did in Victorian everyday life.
Add to Cart. Nancy Armstrong argues that the history of the novel and the history of the modern individual are, quite literally, one and the same. She suggests that certain works of fiction created a subject, one displaying wit, will, or energy capable of shifting the social order to grant the exceptional person a place commensurate with his or her individual worth. Once the novel had created this figure, readers understood themselves in terms of a narrative that produced a self-governing subject. In the decades following the revolutions in British North America and France, the major novelists distinguished themselves as authors by questioning the fantasy of a self-made individual.
Nancy Armstrong argues that the history of the novel and the history of the modern individual are, quite literally, one and the same. She suggests that certa.
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