Cover of: History, politics, and the novel | Dominick LaCapra

About the Book

LaCapra provides historically informed readings of eight major modern novels: Stendhal's Red and Black, Dostoevsky's Notes from Underground, Eliot's Middlemarch, Flaubert's Sentimental Education, Mann's Death in Venice and Doctor Faustus, Woolf's To the Lighthouse, and Gaddis's The Recognitions.

In each reading, he explores the question of how the text relates to its historical and literary contexts in symptomatic, critical, and possibly transformative ways. Eschewing both a narrow "intratextual" formalism and a reductive "extratextual" historicism, he attempts to motivate the very selection of relevant contexts for reading by drawing attention to the intellectual and sociopolitical import of our exchange with the past. Throughout, LaCapra consciously emulates the discursive strategy of these novels, thereby reinforcing his assertion that historians have much to learn from modes of discourse they have hitherto viewed as mere documentary symptoms of the past.

The work of a knowledgeable and discerning scholar, this bold attempt to create a more engaging dialogue between the past and present will be stimulating reading for intellectual historians and literary theorists.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Dewey Decimal Class
Library of Congress
PN3343 .L33 1987

The Physical Object

ix, 217 p. ;
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
LC Control Number

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