Models of Misrepresentation: On the Fiction of E. L. Doctorow

Overview

Models of Misrepresentation: On the Fiction of E. L. Doctorow by Christopher Morris

The work of E. L. Doctorow is most often seen as a political and cultural critique of eras of American history, like the settlement of the West, the Gilded Age, the Depression, or the beginnings of the Cold War. In his fiction critics have found searching and subversive questions concerning received national values. At the same time, they have seen him as a literary experimenter, comparing his ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (3) from $25.89   
  • New (2) from $25.89   
  • Used (1) from $29.58   
Sending request ...

More About This Book

Overview

Models of Misrepresentation: On the Fiction of E. L. Doctorow by Christopher Morris

The work of E. L. Doctorow is most often seen as a political and cultural critique of eras of American history, like the settlement of the West, the Gilded Age, the Depression, or the beginnings of the Cold War. In his fiction critics have found searching and subversive questions concerning received national values. At the same time, they have seen him as a literary experimenter, comparing his with the work of such modernist writers as Faulkner and Hemingway.

Models of Misrepresentation, an original and comprehensive reading of Doctorow's work, considers both these views under a broader rubric, the struggle for representation in art. The author of this penetrating and persuasive study considers this theme from a philosophical standpoint: How can the writer depict America, or how can the reader interpret its values, when the very capacity of language to represent is put in doubt, as it is in Doctorow's fiction? From this perspective, Doctorow's works form part of the twentieth century's continuing intellectual crisis over the possibility of meaning in art. The understanding of this crisis in the work of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida shows how the broader issue of representation underpins both Doctorow's political-cultural critiques and his literary experimentalism. This vantage-point sheds new light on some perennial questions that intrigue Doctorow's readers: Who are the narrators of Ragtime and Loon Lake? Why do the novels' left-wing critiques also undermine left-wing solutions? What is the significance of repeated leitmotifs in his work? Why does Doctorow's later fiction seem to return to simpler literary forms? In Models of Misrepresentation the answers to these questions are discovered in the novels' continuing preoccupation with the creative process itself-with their narrators' anxious struggles to make something new in spite of convincing fears of deathly repetition. This preoccupation is also apparent in Doctorow's book reviews, interviews, and essays. It is animated by an intransigent despair. Looking at Doctorow's novels as models of misrepresentation reveals doubts in them more dangerous than those usually associated with social satire or avant-gardism, for they extend to the heart of writing itself.

Christopher Morris is a professor of English at Norwich University.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781604735284
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 9/1/1991
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)