The Observing Self (Routledge Revivals): Rediscovering the Essay, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Observing Self (Routledge Revivals)

Rediscovering the Essay, 1st Edition

By Graham Good


208 pages

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Paperback: 9781138794849
pub: 2015-12-08
Hardback: 9781138794832
pub: 2014-03-19
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pub: 2014-08-01
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First published in 1988, this title is a study of the essay as a literary genre, not just in terms of its general intellectual and literary history, but as an exploration of the creative possibilities of the form. The rise of the essay is discussed in relation to the rise of the novel and the emergence of empiricism in science, but the main focus of Graham Good’s study is on the inner workings of the essay itself. Drawing on criticism by Adorno and Lukacs, Good presents the genre as an expression of individualism, freed from tradition and authority, in which the self constructs itself and its object through independent observation. Through analysis of the work of such essayists as Montaigne, Bacon, Virginia Wolf, T. S. Eliot and George Orwell, the potential of the genre for independence and individualism is illustrated, and the essay is resituated as an intellectually challenging form of creative and critical writing.

Table of Contents

Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. The essay as genre 2. Montaigne: the growth of experience 3. Bacon: ramifications of counsel 4. Johnson: the correction of error 5. Hazlitt: ventures of the self 6. Henry James: patterns of art and life 7. Virginia Woolf: angles of vision 8. T. S. Eliot: the process of refinement 9. George Orwell: myth and counter-myth 10. The essay and criticism; Reference list; Biographical notes; Index

About the Series

Routledge Revivals

Are there elusive titles that you need and have been trying to source for years but thought that you would never be able to find?

Well this may be the end of your quest – here is a fantastic opportunity for you to discover past brilliance and purchase previously out of print and unavailable titles by some of the world’s most eminent academic scholars.

Drawing from over 100 years of innovative, cutting-edge publishing, Routledge Revivals is an exciting programme whereby key titles from the distinguished and extensive backlist of the many acclaimed imprints associated with Routledge will be re-issued.

The programme draws upon the illustrious backlists of Kegan Paul, Trench & Trubner, Routledge & Kegan Paul, Methuen, Allen & Unwin and Routledge itself.

Routledge Revivals spans the whole of the Humanities and Social Sciences, and includes works by some of the world’s greatest thinkers including Emile Durkheim, Max Weber, Simone Weil, Martin Buber, Karl Jaspers and Max Beloff.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / Semiotics & Theory