978-0-333-68408-5 / 0333684087

The Novel: Language and Narrative from Cervantes to Calvino

by Brink, Andre

Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan



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About the book:

The South African writer André Brink is no stranger to novels, having written several himself. In The Novel, however, he turns his attention to analyzing fiction, not creating it. Brink's own work might best be described as literary realism; in A Dry White Season, he chronicled the horror of apartheid and its dreadful effect on both whites and blacks. In Imaginings of Sand, he explored South Africa's slow transition to democracy. Yet The Novel is a celebration of postmodernism, in which language becomes both the subject and the medium for literature. Though postmodernist literary theory is relatively young, Brink argues that its practice goes back to the very roots of the novel, starting with 16th-century Miguel De Cervantes's Don Quixote and continuing on up through 20th-century author Italo Calvino. He applies his theories to the classic novels of Flaubert, Austen, and Defoe, among others, then moves to modern writers such as Milan Kundera, Gabriel García Márquez, and A.S. Byatt. Though Brink's analysis of these newer novelists is both acute and interesting, it is the unique reading he brings to the classics of previous centuries that makes The Novel novel.

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