The Irresponsible Self
On Laughter and the Novel
By (author) James Wood
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Irresponsible Self by James Wood
Book DescriptionWhen James Wood's first collection of essays, The Broken Estate, was published in 1999, the reviewers hailed a master critic. The common thread in Wood's latest collection of essays is what makes us laugh - and the book is an attempt to distinguish between the perhaps rather limited English comedy (as seen in Waugh, for example) and a 'continental' tragic-comedy, which he sees as real, universal and quixotic. A particularly acerbic, and very funny, essay - which has been widely celebrated - deals with Zadie Smith, Rushdie, Pynchon and DeLillo; its title, 'Hysterical Realism', has already entered the phrasebook of literary language. With its brilliant studies of Shakespeare, Dickens and Dostoevsky, Naipaul, Pritchett and Bellow, The Irresponsible Self offers more exhilarating despatches from one of our finest living critics.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9781844130979
(216mm x 136mm x 19mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author James Wood
Fun Stuff and Other Essays, Paperback (February 2014)» View all books by James Wood
In twenty-three dispatches - that range over such crucial writers as Thomas Hardy, Leo Tolstoy, and Edmund Wilson, the author offers a look at the modern novel. He connects his encyclopaedic understanding of the literary canon with an equally in-depth analysis of the most important authors writing today, including Cormac McCarthy, and V S Naipaul.
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Author Biography - James Wood
JAMES WOOD is a staff writer at The New Yorker and a visiting lecturer at Harvard. In addition to How Fiction Works, he is the author of two essay collections, The Broken Estate and Fun Stuff and Other Essays, and a novel, The Book Against God.
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