By Jane Smiley
Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling novelist Jane Smiley celebrates the novel–and takes us on a thrilling travel via 100 of them–in this seductive and immensely lucrative literary tribute.
In her inimitable style–exuberant, candid, opinionated–Smiley explores the ability of the radical, its heritage and diversity, its cultural impression, and simply the way it works its magic. She invitations us behind the curtain of novel-writing, sharing her personal conduct and spilling the secrets and techniques of her craft. and he or she deals worthwhile recommendation to aspiring authors. As she works her manner via 100 novels–from classics similar to the thousand-year-old Tale of Genji to contemporary fiction through Zadie Smith and Alice Munro–she infects us anew with the eagerness for studying that's the governing spirit of this present to publication fanatics far and wide.
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Extra info for 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel
He does not really like the theater-a t least, the theater as it is conceived throughout the West, which he accuses of being i nsu fficiently serious. His theater would have nothing to do with the aim of pro· viding "pointless, artificial diversion," mere entertain· ment. The contrast a t the heart of Artaud's polemics is not between a merel y literary theater and a theater of strong sensations but between a hedonistic theater and a theater that is morally rigorous. What Arta ud proposes is a theater that Savona rola or Cromwell m ight well have approved of.
But A rtaud's idea of revolution diverges as fa r from that of the Surrealists as his devastated sensibili ty does from Breton's essentially wholesome one. /28 Approaching Artaud Artaud also reta ined from the Surrealists the romantic imperative to close the gap between art ( and thought) and life. " But Artaud insists, more aggressively than the Surrealists ever d id, on that devaluation of the sepa rate work of art which results from attaching art to life. Like the Surrealists, Artaud re gards art as a function of consciousness, each work representing only a fraction of the whole of the artist's con sciousness.
The prevailing tyranny of some means over others has to be creatively subverted. As Wagner challenged the convention of al ternating aria and recitative, which impl ies a hierarchical relation of speech, song, and orchestral music, Artaud de nounced the practice of making every elemen t of the stag ing serve i n some way the words that the actors speak to each other. Assa iling as false the priorities of dialogue theater which have subordinated theater to "literature," Artaud implicitly upgrades the means that characterize such other forms of dramatic performance as dance, ora torio, circus, cabaret, church, gymnasium, hospital operat ing room, courtroom.
13 Ways of Looking at the Novel by Jane Smiley