By Jane Smiley
Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling novelist Jane Smiley celebrates the novel–and takes us on an exciting travel via 100 of them–in this seductive and immensely worthwhile literary tribute.
In her inimitable style–exuberant, candid, opinionated–Smiley explores the facility of the unconventional, its heritage and diversity, its cultural influence, and simply the way it works its magic. She invitations us backstage of novel-writing, sharing her personal conduct and spilling the secrets and techniques of her craft. and he or she deals invaluable recommendation to aspiring authors. As she works her method via 100 novels–from classics similar to the thousand-year-old Tale of Genji to fresh fiction through Zadie Smith and Alice Munro–she infects us anew with the eagerness for interpreting that's the governing spirit of this present to publication enthusiasts far and wide.
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Extra resources for 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
PART ONE The Underground 2 The Double: Dostoyevsky's idea for The Double No analysis of Dostoyevsky's fantastic realism can afford to overlook his second novel. When it was published in Notes of the Fatherland in 1846, everybody, it seems, was disappointed in The Double', almost all reviewers disliked it, accusing Dostoyevsky of imitating Hoffmann or Gogol, even to the extent of plagiarism (K. S. 2 Dostoyevsky himself was devastated and was soon persuaded that his second was an artistic failure.
S. 2 Dostoyevsky himself was devastated and was soon persuaded that his second was an artistic failure. Yet he stood by the idea of The Double virtually all his life. He repeatedly thought of rewriting it, first of all in 1846, then in 1847, again in 1859, and finally during the years 1861-5. He never did so, although the 1866 version (which is the one we read) has some welcome pruning and is a great improvement on the original. We also have some brief notes for a reworking. 4 Then in the Diary ofa Writer for 1877 he wrote, 'My story was a positive failure, but the idea was quite a bright/clear (svetlaya) one, and I never introduced a more serious one into literature.
Psychoanalytical, models. In particular Bakhtin's discussion of Dostoyevsky's characters - although he repeatedly refers to 'embodied ideas' or 'the self-developing idea inseparable from personality' - takes very little account of desires or emotions either in fictional characters or in writers and readers. Yet we are aware in reading Dostoyevsky, as we are in our relationships within lived experience, that utterances do not simply provoke verbal rejoinders or silences of a rational kind: they also provoke emotional responses, arising from their confirmation or disconfirmation of our subjective selves.
13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley