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This astute guide to the literary achievements of American novelists in the twentieth century places their work in its historical context and offers detailed analyses of landmark novels based on a clearly laid out set of tools for analyzing narrative form.
- Includes a valuable overview of twentieth- and early twenty-first century American literary history
- Provides analyses of numerous core texts including The Great Gatsby, Invisible Man, The Sound and the Fury, The Crying of Lot 49 and Freedom
- Relates these individual novels to the broader artistic movements of modernism and postmodernism
- Explains and applies key principles of rhetorical reading
- Includes numerous cross-novel comparisons and contrasts
Table of Contents
Introduction: Reading the American Novel, 1920–2010 1
1 Principles of Rhetorical Reading 23
2 The Age of Innocence (1920): Bildung and the Ethics of Desire 39
3 The Great Gatsby (1925): Character Narration, Temporal Order, and Tragedy 61
4 A Farewell to Arms (1929): Bildung, Tragedy, and the Rhetoric of Voice 85
5 The Sound and the Fury (1929): Portrait Narrative as Tragedy 105
6 Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937): Bildung and the Rhetoric and Politics of Voice 127
7 Invisible Man (1952): Bildung, Politics, and Rhetorical Design 149
8 Lolita (1955): The Ethics of the Telling and the Ethics of the Told 171
9 The Crying of Lot 49 (1966): Mimetic Protagonist,
Thematic–Synthetic Storyworld 193
10 Beloved (1987): Sethe’s Choice and Morrison’s Ethical Challenge 213
11 Freedom (2010): Realism after Postmodernism 237