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The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel

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"Of all the books on character in fiction, so strongly does this one impress you as being "the" one, that you find yourself embarrassed by a desire to write, under your own name, something 'just like it.' But because, even if you could appropriate it… weiterlesen
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The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel als Taschenbuch

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Titel: The One vs. the Many: Minor Characters and the Space of the Protagonist in the Novel
Autor/en: Alex Woloch

ISBN: 0691113149
EAN: 9780691113142
New.
Sprache: Englisch.
PRINCETON UNIV PR

November 2003 - kartoniert - 408 Seiten

Beschreibung

"Of all the books on character in fiction, so strongly does this one impress you as being "the" one, that you find yourself embarrassed by a desire to write, under your own name, something 'just like it.' But because, even if you could appropriate its author's unique energy of idea and expression, your pride keeps you from becoming his clone, you renounce imitation for a less sincere form of flattery. You admire, judge, contest the book; borrow its argument, take it elsewhere, pretend you knew it all along. In short, against this transfiguration of minor fictional characters into major critical work, you consent to be one of 'the many.'"--D. A. Miller, University of California, Berkeley""The One Vs. The Many" is a work of epic clarity and conviction. Woloch has articulated with steady command what will no doubt be recognized as our most far-reaching account of fictional characterization. His new terrain is carved out with no undue fanfare or polemic, just a fresh investigative spirit. The result is not only revisionary but revitalizing: a theory likely to enter into the very idiom of critical discourse."--Garrett Stewart, University of Iowa"This masterful study of characterization provides a learned, creative take on the creative process itself and a beautifully articulated argument about the tensions between psychological depth and social inclusiveness. At a time when character has been eclipsed by language, Woloch reintroduces character, relationship, society. This is what many young and old critics are yearning for."--Regenia Gagnier, University of Exeter

Inhaltsverzeichnis

PROLOGUE: The Iliad's Two Wars 1 The Proem 1 When Achilles Disappears: A Reading of Book 2 3 The Death of Lykaon 8 INTRODUCTION: Characterization and Distribution 12 Character-Space: Between Person and Form 12 Characterization and the Antinomies of Theory 14 "They Too Should Have a Case" 21 Two Kinds of Minorness 24 Function and Alienation: The Labor Theory of Character 26 Realism, Democracy, and Inequality 30 Austen, Dickens, Balzac: Character-Space in the Nineteenth-Century Novel 32 The Minor Character: Between Story and Discourse 37 CHAPTER ONE: Narrative Asymmetry in Pride and Prejudice 43 Minor Characters in a Narrative Structure 43 The Double Meaning of Character 50 The One vs. the Many 56 Asymmetry: From Discourse to Story 62 Characterizing Minorness 1: Compression 68 The Space of the Protagonist 1: Elizabeth's Consciousness 77 Characterizing Minorness 2: Externality 82 Helpers: Charlotte Lucas and the Actantial Theory 88 The Space of the Protagonist 2: Elizabeth's Self-Consciousness 97 Wickham: "How He Lived I Know Not" 103 Minor Minor Characters: Representing Multiplicity 116 CHAPTER TWO: Making More of Minor Characters 125 Distorted Characters and the Weak Protagonist 125 Between Jingle and Joe: Asymmetry and Misalignment in The Pickwick Papers 133 Seeing into Sight: Mr. Elton and Uriah Heep 143 Partial Visibility and Incomplete Vision: The Appearance of Minor Characters 149 Repetition and Eccentricity: Minor Characters and the Division of Labor 155 "Monotonous Emphasis": Minorness and Three Kinds of Repetition 167 CHAPTER THREE: Partings Welded Together: The Character-System in Great Expectations 177 Between Two Roaring Worlds: Exteriority and Characterization 177 The Structure of Childhood Experience 188 Interpreting the Character-System: Signification, Position, Structure 194 Metaphor, Metonymy, and Characterization 198 Getting to London 207 Three Narrative Workers and the Dispersion of Labor in Great Expectations 213 Wemmick as Helper (the Functional Minor Character) 214 Magwitch's Return (the Marginal Minor Character) 217 Orlick and Social Multiplicity (the Fragmented Minor Character) 224 The Double: A Narrative Condition? 238 CHAPTER FOUR: A qui la place?: Characterization and Competition in Le Pere Goriot and La Comedie humaine 244 Typification and Multiplicity 244 The Problem: Who Is the Hero? 244 Character, Type, Crowd 246 Balzac's Double Vision 255 The Character-System in Le Pere Goriot 260 La belle loi de soi pour soi 260 Goriot: The Interior as Exterior 265 Rastignac: The Exterior as Interior 267 Between the Exterior and the Interior 272 Interiority and Centrality in Le Pere Goriot and King Lear 282 The Shrapnel of Le Pere Goriot 288 Recurring Characters, Le Pere Goriot, and the Origins of La Comedie humaine 288 The Social Representation of Death: Le Pere Goriot and Le Cousin Pons 295 Cogs in the Machine: Les Poiret between Le Pere Goriot and Les Employees 303 Competition and Character in Les Employees 308 AFTERWORD: Sophocles's Oedipus Rex and the Prehistory of the Protagonist 319 Notes 337 Works Cited 375 Acknowledgments 383 Index 385

Portrait

Alex Woloch is Assistant Professor of English at Stanford University and is coeditor of "Whose Freud?: The Place of Psychoanalysis in Contemporary Culture".

Pressestimmen

Winner of the 2004 Sonya Rudikoff Book Award, Northeast Victorian Studies Association "Character is an unfashionable subject within the current doxa of literary studies, and one of the many strengths of Alex Woloch?s study is his unabashed facing of the problem head-on... This book insists on questions that have been skirted or marginalized, but cannot be made to go away."--Rachel Malik, New Left Review "Reading Alex Woloch's The One vs. the Many, I found myself frequently reminded of de Man's drive to 'inscribe the polemics inside the question rather than having them determine it,' a critical gesture Woloch pulls off with a great deal of flair and elegance... The implications of The One vs. the Many for the study of modernism will be profound... [T]here is, after Woloch, fresh work to do."--Eric Hayot, Modernism/Modernity "[The One vs. the Many explains] how the conflict between a character's full personhood and its narrative function is the key cultural reason for characterization and, more specifically, a main source of the realist novel's social significance. In doing so, the book ends a century's critical infighting with a visionary appreciation of the meaning of fictional people."--Jesse Matz, Modern Language Quarterly
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