Ring Lardner and the Other

Ring Lardner and the Other

by Douglas Robinson
     
 
Ring Lardner and the Other is actually two books, mutually embedded. The first is about Ring Lardner: a long reading of a single Lardner short story, "Who Dealt?", a briefer look at his life and work, and an exploration of his reception. The second is about the "Other," in an expanded Lacanian sense: the speaking of various unconscious voices (mother and

Overview

Ring Lardner and the Other is actually two books, mutually embedded. The first is about Ring Lardner: a long reading of a single Lardner short story, "Who Dealt?", a briefer look at his life and work, and an exploration of his reception. The second is about the "Other," in an expanded Lacanian sense: the speaking of various unconscious voices (mother and father and child, culture and anarchy, majority and minority) through literary characters and their authors and readers. The Lardner book explores the contradictions of Lardner's patriarchal masculinity--how such a dour, sexist alcoholic who hated humor and bad grammar could have created such a rich body of minoritarian writing, steeped in the emergent voices of women and the lower middle class--and the social functions served by Lardner's writing in twentieth-century America. The other book exfoliates Lacan's germinal concept of the Other by interweaving it with a series of theoretical formulations by Bateson, Deleuze and Guattari, and others. Robinson's book is an important reappraisal of a critically neglected American writer of the teens and twenties. The book includes an essay by Ellen Gardiner.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a brilliantly structured experiment in theoretically based criticism....This is an important work detailing the meaning of 'minor' writers. It breaks ground to find new ways to give serious attention to popular literature."—Choice

"A stimulating, idiosyncratic, and original exploration not only of Ring Lardner but of many of the issues raised in his work that continue to disturb contemporary thought."—Geoffrey Galt Harpham, Tulane University

"Robinson's book is far more than a subtle rereading of Lardner. In both his argument and its formulation, he shows how the work of Lacan and Bateson can be the basis of a post-feminist criticism."—David Nye, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study

"There is a great deal to like about this book. Its readings of Lardner are strong and innovative; its structure of dominant/subversive readings is provocative; and its proposed model of reading promises to be extremely useful and productive....The analyses of minoritarian writers are brilliant, and the material about the proletariat as madness and the interpellation of the proletariat into middle class is extremely valuable....The book will stand well as an important contribution to the growing field of men's studies."—Susan Jeffords, University of Washington

"This volume has a good deal to offer."—American Literature

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195360448
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
11/26/1992
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
486 KB

Meet the Author

University of Mississippi

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