Rereading William Styron

Rereading William Styron

by Gavin Cologne-Brookes


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Rereading William Styron by Gavin Cologne-Brookes

The first critical study of William Styron since his death in 2006, Rereading William Styron offers an eloquent reflection on the writer's works, world, and character. Bringing an innovative approach to literary criticism, Gavin Cologne-Brookes combines personal anecdote, scholarly research, travel writing, and primary material to provide fresh perspectives on Styron's achievements.

For Cologne-Brookes, rereading unfolds in two ways: through close analysis of texts, and through remembrance. He begins with reminiscences about the man behind the books and then, giving due consideration to Styron's stories, incidental writings, and posthumous publications, interprets anew all his significant work -- from the nonfiction, including his acclaimed memoir of depression, Darkness Visible, to the novels Lie Down in Darkness, Set This House on Fire, The Confessions of Nat Turner, and Sophie's Choice. Defining the relevance of Styron's writing in terms of everyday life, Cologne-Brookes explores the intricate relationships between an author, his work, and his readership, and between history and fiction, and writing and place. The book's emphasis on subjectivity and dynamic interaction makes it unique in Styron criticism and a striking contribution to the debate about what it means to study literature.

LSU Press

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807152874
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Publication date: 01/13/2014
Pages: 280
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Gavin Cologne-Brookes, author of The Novels of William Styron: From Harmony to History and Dark Eyes on America: The Novels of Joyce Carol Oates, is a professor of American literature and director of the Contemporary Writing Research Centre at Bath Spa University. He lives with his wife and daughters in Wiltshire, England.

LSU Press

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

1 The Meaning of Rereading 1

2 His Heart Laid Bare: Personality, Craft, Compassion, Intimacy 12

3 Self-Realization from This Quiet Dust to Havanas in Camelot 43

4 The Significance of Lie Down in Darkness 68

5 Two Readings of Set This House on Fire 96

6 The Confessions of Nat Turner Carved of Air and Light 121

7 Reflections: Terror and Tenderness in Sophie's Choice 154

8 Train to the Tidewater: A Journey of Rediscovery 194

Permissions 231

Notes 233

Selected Bibliography 249

Index 257

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