American Theorists of the Novel : Henry James, Lionel Trilling and Wayne C. Booth book cover
1st Edition

American Theorists of the Novel
Henry James, Lionel Trilling and Wayne C. Booth

ISBN 9780415285452
Published July 27, 2006 by Routledge
184 Pages

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Book Description

The American theorists: Henry James, Lionel Trilling and Wayne C. Booth have revolutionized our understanding of narrative and have each championed the novel as an art form. Concepts from their work have become part of the fabric of novel criticism today, influencing theorists, authors and readers alike.

Emphasizing the crucial relationship between the works of these three critics, Peter Rawlings explores their understanding of the novel form, and investigates their ideas on:

  • realism and representation
  • authors and narration
  • point of view and centres of consciousness
  • readers, reading and interpretation
  • moral intelligence.

Rawlings demonstrates the importance of James, Trilling and Booth for contemporary literary theory and clearly introduces critical concepts that underlie any study of narrative. American Theorists of the Novel is invaluable reading for anyone with an interest in American critical theory, or the genre of the novel.

Table of Contents

Why James, Trilling, and Booth?  Key Ideas  1. Three Perspectives on the Novel  2. Realism and Representation  3. Authors, Narrators, and Narration  4. Points of View and Centres of Consciousness  5. Readers, Reading, and Interpretation  6. Moral Intelligence  After James, Trilling, and Booth  Further Reading 

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Peter Rawlings is Reader in English and American Literature and Head of English and Drama at the University of the West of England, Bristol (UK). He has published widely on Henry James, American theories of fiction in the nineteenth century, and the American reception of Shakespeare.


'Demonstrably, American Theorists of the Novel meets well the primary objective of Routledge's "Critical Thinkers" series as enunciated by its editor, Robert Eaglestone; it stands as a book to which one "can turn to first when a new name or concept appears in [one's] studies".' - Jerry A. Varsava, Studies in the Novel