Sounding the Classics: From Sophocles to Thomas Mann

Sounding the Classics: From Sophocles to Thomas Mann

by Rudolph Binion, Unknown
     
 

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This book is a comparative study of 12 works of fiction broadly representative of the Western canon. Its aim is to discover what gives these 12 works their lasting appeal and vitality over and beyond their formal qualities. It focuses on the interplay of text and subtext within each work after defining these terms at the outset. It then compares its 12 sample

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Overview

This book is a comparative study of 12 works of fiction broadly representative of the Western canon. Its aim is to discover what gives these 12 works their lasting appeal and vitality over and beyond their formal qualities. It focuses on the interplay of text and subtext within each work after defining these terms at the outset. It then compares its 12 sample classics systematically in a conclusion that argues from the works themselves to classics in general.

Binion's key finding is that for a piece of fiction to feel deep, whole, and great, as classics do, its text must be underpinned from start to finish by a subtext, or alternative reading, which calls that text itself into question. A book for scholar, student and educated public alike, no serious reader will be able to consider what makes a classic without reference to this work.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A comparative study of twelve works of fiction broadly representative of the Western canon. In order to discover what gives works like Dante's "Inferno" and Shakespeare's "King Lear" their lasting appeal and vitality, Binion (history, Brandeis) focuses on the interplay of text and subtext within each work, concluding that for a piece of fiction to feel deep, whole, and great, its text must be underpinned throughout with a subtext, or alternative reading, which calls the text itself into question. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780313304583
Publisher:
ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/28/1997
Series:
Contributions to the Study of World Literature Series
Pages:
172
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

RUDOLPH BINION is Leff Professor of History at Brandeis University. He is the author of numerous works including Hitler Among the Germans (1979) and Love Beyond Death (1993).

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