The Art of Fiction: Illustrated from Classic and Modern Texts

Overview

The articles with which David Lodge entertained and enlightened readers of the Independent on Sunday and The Washington Post are now revised, expanded and collected together in book form.

The art of fiction is considered under a wide range of headings, such as the Intrusive Author, Suspense, the Epistolary Novel, Time-shift, Magical Realism and Symbolism, and each topic is illustrated by a passage or two taken from classic or modern fiction. Drawing on writers as diverse as ...

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Overview

The articles with which David Lodge entertained and enlightened readers of the Independent on Sunday and The Washington Post are now revised, expanded and collected together in book form.

The art of fiction is considered under a wide range of headings, such as the Intrusive Author, Suspense, the Epistolary Novel, Time-shift, Magical Realism and Symbolism, and each topic is illustrated by a passage or two taken from classic or modern fiction. Drawing on writers as diverse as Henry James and Martin Amis, Jane Austen and Fay Weldon and Henry Fielding and James Joyce, David Lodge makes accessible to the general reader the richness and variety of British and American fiction. Technical terms, such as Interior Monologue, Metafiction, Intertextuality and the Unreliable Narrator, are lucidly explained and their application demonstrated.

Bringing to criticism the verve and humour of his own novels, David Lodge has provided essential reading for students of literature, aspirant writers, and anyone who wishes to understand how literature works.

From Jane Austen to Paul Auster, irony to magical realism, the novelist's art is revealed in an entertaining and enlightening book for readers and writers--from the author of Nice Work. Here are 50 of David Lodge's articles from the acclaimed series that engaged and delighted readers of The Washington Post and the London Independent.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
British novelist Lodge ( Paradise News ) retired in 1987 from Birmingham University's English faculty and swore off academic prose, but in 1991 he consented to contribute a series of columns ``of interest to a more general reading public'' to the London Independent . Each of these 50 essays begins with a brief fiction passage, addressed and interpreted topically by Lodge, who discusses point of view, the unreliable narrator, ``the uncanny,'' ``weather'' and other aspects of writing. For example, in Chapter 19, ``Repetition,'' he observes that while Hemingway is famous for the ``charged simplicity'' of his reiterated words or phrases, repetition brings a special flavor to the work of writers as various as Dickens, Lawrence and Martin Amis--and he proves it. The selections are varied, although perhaps slanted to favor gentility (Austen and Nabokov, not Meredith or Dreiser), and tend to verify the opinion that ``the novel has always been centrally concerned with erotic attraction and desire.'' Lodge may be working a bit below full capacity here, but apart from serving as a genial companion, he defines terms of the novelist's craft so deftly and concisely that this pleasurable browse could rescue (or replace) many a college syllabus. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140174922
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/28/1994
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 141,416
  • Product dimensions: 5.17 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

David Lodge is the author of twelve novels and a novella, including the Booker Prize finalists Small World and Nice Work. He is also the author of many works of literary criticism, including The Art of Fiction and Consciousness and the Novel.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1. Beginning (Jane Austen, Ford Madox Ford)
2. The Intrusive Author (George Eliot, E. M. Forster)
3. Suspense (Thomas Hardy)
4. Teenage Skaz (J.D. Salinger)
5. The Epistolary Novel (Michael Frayn)
6. Point of View (Henry James)
7. Mystery (Rudyard Kipling)
8. Names (David Lodge, Paul Auster)
9. The Stream of Consciousness (Virginia Woolf)
10. Interior Monologue (James Joyce)
11. Defamiliarization (Charlotte Brontë
12. The Sense of Place (Martin Amis)
13. Lists (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
14. Introducing a Character (Christopher Isherwood)
15. Surprise (William Makepeace Thackeray)
16. Time-Shift (Muriel Spark)
17. The Reader in the Text (Laurence Sterne)
18. Weather (Jane Austen, Charles Dickens)
19. Repetition (Ernest Hemingway)
20. Fancy Prose (Vladimir Nabokov)
21. Intertextuality (Joseph Conrad)
22. The Experimental Novel (Henry Green)
23. The Comic Novel (Kingsley Amis)
24. Magic Realism (Milan Kundera)
25. Staying on the Surface (Malcolm Bradbury)
26. Showing and Telling (Henry Fielding)
27. Telling in Different Voices (Fay Weldon)
28. A Sense of the Past (John Fowles)
29. Imagining the Future (George Orwell)
30. Symbolism (D. H. Lawrence)
31. Allegory (Samuel Butler)
32. Epiphany (John Updike)
33. Coincidence (Henry James)
34. The Unreliable Narrator (Kazuo Ishiguro)
35. The Exotic (Graham Greene)
36. Chapters etc. (Tobias Smollett, Laurence Sterne, Sir Walter Scott, George Eliot, James Joyce)
37. The Telephone (Evelyn Waugh)
38. Surrealism (Leonora Carrington)
39. Irony (Arnold Bennett)
40. Motivation (George Eliot)
41. Duration (Donald Barthelme)
42. Implication (William Cooper)
43. The Title (George Gissing)
44. Ideas (Anthony Burgess)
45. The Non-Fiction Novel (Thomas Carlyle)
46. Metafiction (John Barth)
47. The Uncanny (Edgar Allan Poe)
48. Narrative Structure (Leonard Michaels)
49. Aporia (Samuel Beckett)
50. Ending (Jane Austen, William Golding)
Bibliography of primary sources
Index of Names

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