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A Mirror in the Roadway:
Literature and the Real World
Morris Dickstein

Book Description | Reviews
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF format]

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

Preface ix
Acknowledgments xvii
Introduction: A Mirror in the Roadway 1

American Realism: The Sense of Time and Place
The City as Text: New York and the American Writer 17
The Second City (Chicago Writers) 36
Upton Sinclair and the Urban Jungle 41
A Radical Comedian (Sinclair Lewis) 51
The Magic of Contradictions: Willa Cather’s Lost Lady 60

A Different World: From Realism to Modernism
The Authority of Failure (F. Scott Fitzgerald) 77
Edmund Wilson: Three Phases 89
A Glint of Malice (Mary McCarthy) 96
Silence, Exile, Cunning 104
The Modern Writer as Exile 104
An Outsider in His Own Life (Samuel Beckett) 115
Kafka in Love 119
Hope against Hope: Orwell and the Future 126
Magical Realism 137
The Pornography of Power (Gabriel García Márquez) 137
A Fishy Tale (Günter Grass) 140
Talking Dogs and Pioneers (S. Y. Agnon) 144

Postwar Fiction in Context: Genealogies
Sea Change: Céline in America 153
The Complex Fate of the Jewish American Writer 168
The Face in the Mirror: The Eclipse of Distance
in Contemporary Fiction 184
Ordinary People: Carver, Ford, and Blue-Collar Realism 199
Textures of Memory 209
Late Bellow: Thinking About the Dead 209
Saints and Sinners: William Kennedy’s Albany Cycle 214

Reading and History
Damaged Literacy: The Decay of Reading 223
Finding the Right Words (Irving Howe) 234
The Social Uses of Fiction (Martha Nussbaum) 243
The Limits of Historicism: Literary Theory
and Historical Understanding 248
Sources 259
Index 271

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File created: 11/11/2014

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