Story and history : narrative authority and social identity in the eighteenth-century French and English novel / William Ray.

By: Ray, William, 1944-Material type: TextTextPublisher: Cambridge, Mass., USA : B. Blackwell, 1990Description: viii, 362 p. ; 24 cmISBN: 0631154361; 9780631154365; 0631175121 (pbk.); 9780631175124 (pbk.)Subject(s): French fiction -- 18th century -- History and criticism | English fiction -- 18th century -- History and criticism | Narration (Rhetoric) -- History -- 18th century | Identity (Psychology) in literature | Social history in literature | Comparative literature -- French and English | Comparative literature -- English and French | Authority in literature | Fiction in English, 1702-1800 - Critical studies | Fiction in French, 1715-1789 - Critical studiesDDC classification: 843/.509353 LOC classification: PQ648 | .R38 1990Other classification: 17.86 | HK 1274 | HK 1301 | IG 1657
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Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PQ648 .R38 1990 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001416452

Spine title: Story & history.

Includes bibliographical references (p. [351]-357) and index.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

This study builds upon critical insights of both Michael McKeon's The Origins of the English Novel (CH, Sep'87) and several recent studies of Richardson's epistolary novels without, however, committing itself to Marxist or feminist readings. Ray's theoretical arguments are eclectic, extrapolated from 15 influential English and French novels, ranging chronologically from La Princesse de Cleves (1678) and Robinson Crusoe (1719) to Tristram Shandy (1760-67) and Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782). His readings of these are less daunting than those of his predecessors because they are concerned more closely with literature than with theory. The words "story" and "history" in his title are not, however, the old Russian Formalist terms; "story" simply refers to the narration of an individual protagonist or author, "history" (less simply) to the collectively shared, but amendable narrative that frames "story." The book analyzes the relationship between "story" and "history," describing the dialectic or dialogic order that the evolving genre makes of its conflicting identities as fiction and truth. Ray provides translations of all French quotations and supplies synopses of the less familiar French works. Still the book is a demanding one, more rewarding to graduate students and faculty than to undergraduate readers. G. R. Wasserman Russell Sage College

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