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The things that matter : what seven classic novels have to say about the stages of life / Edward Mendelson.

By: Mendelson, Edward.
Material type: TextTextPublisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2006Edition: 1st ed.Description: xviii, 260 p. ; 22 cm.ISBN: 0375424083; 9780375424083.Subject(s): Life cycle, Human, in literature | English fiction -- 19th century -- History and criticism | English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticismAdditional physical formats: Online version:: Things that matter.; Online version:: Things that matter.DDC classification: 823/.809354 Other classification: 18.05
Contents:
Birth : Frankenstein -- Childhood : Wuthering Heights -- Growth : Jane Eyre -- Marriage : Middlemarch -- Love : Mrs. Dalloway -- Parenthood : To the lighthouse -- The future : Between the acts.
Summary: An exploration of how seven of the greatest English novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries portray the essential experiences of life. For Mendelson--a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University--these classic novels tell life stories that are valuable to readers who are thinking about the course of their own lives. Looking beyond theories to the individual intentions of the authors and taking into consideration their lives and times, Mendelson examines the sometimes contradictory ways in which the novels portray such major passages of life as love, marriage, and parenthood.--From publisher description.
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Item type Current location Call number Status Date due Barcode
Book University of Texas At Tyler
Stacks - 3rd Floor
PR868.L54 M46 2006 (Browse shelf) Available 0000001812999

Includes bibliographical references (p. [243]-247) and index.

An exploration of how seven of the greatest English novels of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries portray the essential experiences of life. For Mendelson--a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University--these classic novels tell life stories that are valuable to readers who are thinking about the course of their own lives. Looking beyond theories to the individual intentions of the authors and taking into consideration their lives and times, Mendelson examines the sometimes contradictory ways in which the novels portray such major passages of life as love, marriage, and parenthood.--From publisher description.

Birth : Frankenstein -- Childhood : Wuthering Heights -- Growth : Jane Eyre -- Marriage : Middlemarch -- Love : Mrs. Dalloway -- Parenthood : To the lighthouse -- The future : Between the acts.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Perhaps inspired by the character of Jaques and his discussion of the "seven ages" of man in Shakespeare's As You Like It, Mendelson (English & comparative literature, Columbia Univ.; Early Auden) writes of seven English novels and how they illuminate seven aspects of our lives. All written by women in the 19th or 20th century, these novels include Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Emily Bront?'s Wuthering Heights, Charlotte Bront?'s Jane Eyre, George Eliot's Middlemarch, and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Between the Acts. The analysis follows the chronology of the novels themselves. Thus, in Shelley's work, Mendelson examines the moral and emotional fabric of childbirth. Succeeding chapters explore childhood, growth into adulthood, marriage, love, parenthood, and preparation for death. Even if one is not inclined to accept the view that Woolf surpasses James Joyce or that Middlemarch is the greatest English novel, Mendelson provides many fresh insights into how these novels help us reflect on the values and meanings of our own lives. Readers will appreciate this close examination of characters whose life experiences do matter. Appropriate for academic and larger libraries.-Anthony Pucci, Notre Dame H.S., Elmira, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Edward Mendelson is a professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University. He is the literary executor of W. H. Auden's estate and the editor of Auden's complete works. Among his previous books are Early Auden, Later Auden , and editions of novels by Anthony Trollope, George Meredith, Thomas Hardy, H. G. Wells, and Arnold Bennett. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.

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