Google full text of our books:


Extravagant Narratives:
Closure and Dynamics in the Epistolary Form
Elizabeth Jane MacArthur

Paperback | 2014 | $42.95 | £35.95 | ISBN: 9780691605029
Hardcover | 2016 | $107.50 | £91.95 | ISBN: 9780691634012
308 pp. | 6 x 9
Add to Shopping Cart

Reviews | Table of Contents

Google full text of this book:

Challenging the view of epistolary narrative as a faulty precursor to the nineteenth-century realist novel, Elizabeth MacArthur argues that the openness and flexibility that characterize correspondences, both real and fictional, reflect the preoccupations of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Her readings of the Lettres portugaises, Mme du Deffand's correspondence with Horace Walpole, and Rousseau's La Nouvelle Hlose propose an alternative to closure-oriented theories of narrative as they uncover an interplay between two forces: a tendency towards closure and meaning (metaphor) and a tendency towards openness and desire (metonymy). While such an interplay structures all narrative, the epistolary form differs from the third or first person in the extent to which metonymy predominates. The author shows how critics and editors of correspondences have attempted to control their metonymy, channeling epistolary energy into univocal meaning. By juxtaposing real and fictional epistolary works, MacArthur reveals the similarities between the two, particularly their "extravagance": ambiguity, openness, and forward-moving energy.

Originally published in 1990.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.


"MacArthur's study is an exemplary one and must bea read by anyone interested in the genre. It should also be read, particularly by modern critics."--Studies on the Novel

Table of Contents:

  • FrontMatter, pg. i
  • Contents, pg. vii
  • Acknowledgments, pg. ix
  • Introduction, pg. 3
  • CHAPTER ONE. The Genesis of Epistolary Narrative in the Seventeenth Century, pg. 36
  • CHAPTER TWO. Plotting a Metonymical Life Story: The Correspondence of Madame du Deffand and Horace Walpole, pg. 117
  • CHAPTER THREE. The Open Dynamic of Narrative: Metaphor and Metonymy in Rousseau's Julie, pg. 186
  • Closing, pg. 271
  • Bibliography, pg. 277
  • Index, pg. 291


Subject Area:

  • For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

 Paperback : $42.95 ISBN: 9780691605029

Add to shopping cart

 Hardcover : $107.50 ISBN: 9780691634012

Add to shopping cart
View contents of your shopping cart

  • For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan

 Hardcover  £91.95 ISBN: 9780691634012

Add to shopping cart

 Paperback  £35.95 ISBN: 9780691605029

Add to shopping cart
View contents of your shopping cart

Prices subject to change without notice

File created: 7/11/2017

Questions and comments to:
Princeton University Press

New Book E-mails
New In Print
PUP Blog
Princeton APPS
Sample Chapters
Princeton Legacy Library
Exam/Desk Copy
Recent Awards
Princeton Shorts
Freshman Reading
PUP Europe
About Us
Contact Us
PUP Home

Bookmark and Share 
Send me emails
about new books in:
Comparative Literature
More Choices