I was glad to see our agreement on most of the writers glad to hear DeLillo and Updike deflated, agree that Chekhov and Gogol are great and fascinating writers. An exchange or sharing of identities between the reader and the characters occurs. Some writers can achieve this outcome with highly distilled prose he uses the drama of Beckett as his example. Now isn't this really the Emperor's new clothes concept in reverse where you make people embarrassed to raise their head above parapets because they will be declared insensitive by the magisterial sweep of Wood's unproven argument. More had been in favor of reform as a young man. He is the author of two essay collections, The Broken Estate and The Irresponsible Self, and a novel, The Book Against God.
By way of a heady recapitulation of More's life and times, Wood suggests that Ackroyd's book is little more than hagiography, though he's careful never to use that word. Wood adopts Roland Barthes' stance that conventional fictional realism has lured us into forgetting its doubleness. In the tradition of Matthew Arnold and Edmund Wilson, James Wood reads literature expansively, always pursuing its role and destiny in our lives. This is the wonder and joy of imagination and though Wood captures this he does, to an extent, lay down in a quite end-of-the-discusssion type way his interpretation as the right way of looking. More taught his children to read Greek and Latin by affixing letters to an archery board and encouraging his pupils to fire arrows at them. And I will be begging him to illustrate his point with examples from the text - as we were told.
I suspect it's because Flaubert was having too much fun at it, and Wood himself would love to but cannot oh how he'd love to have a crack at it, but kiss those Harvard and New Yorker posts away if you do. Gradually, the reader begins to understand that the realism - the human activity - is relatively unimportant; it is the fantastical intergovernmental war that really matters. Jane Austen's work had earned a nearly unequivocal admirable, and right so. For if More is doomed, then he is always something of a hero, from any vantage. Where New York Times columnists and guests write literary reviews that hope someday to grow into cinematic reviews, Wood writes essays about literature.
In Lucian's Menippus, which More translated, the hero travels to Hades to find that death has undone all the pointless hierarchies of life: Philip of Macedon is stitching rotten sandals to earn money, Xerxes is begging, and so on. The king's divorce threatened the unity of the church. Surely Amis was seeking to create the very dissonance that Wood criticizes. Is that in me, because of excess and gluttony or is it in Wood because of his being a little in love with his own imagination and articulacy? He fights the religion of history with religion of fiction. Reading Wood, no matter the book under review, provides enormous pleasure.
He knew this because this was his own working experience. Round 2 DeLillo talking about his book in an interview ~ The last half century has been an enormously complex period — a strange spin-out experience, filled with danger and change. In example after example, he makes you understand its geography as you have rarely done before. If so, how do we return to those days or practices? It will teach you how to write better characters, and it will remind you how seriously and severely good readers may someday read you. But time was now drawing in.
He has published a number of books with Cape, including How Fiction Works, which has been translated into thirteen languages. And the final months are deeply moving; the loyal public servant, confined in the Tower for seven months, now selflessly bearded and long-haired, the body dying but also unconstrainedly living, become something natural. But certainly, the shift from Utopian to prosecutor, in the space of ten years, is a bewildering one. He rejects the religion he grew up with, but he rejects it religiously. In the Dialogue Concerning Heresies, More attempted to answer the charge of the reformers that it was not Christian for the church to burn heretics. Wood is at his best about the religious qualities writers bring to their novels. He is a professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard University.
Wood adopts Roland Barthes' stance that conventional fictional realism has lured us into forgetting its doubleness. But at times, utterly frustrating. Realist fiction has succeeded in passing itself off as a conduit of reality and, therefore, of truth. Wood brings that suspicion to bear on literature itself. No human is manoeuvred, except by coercion that could equally have been applied by another human i. He and his wife, Alice, played the lute together, like ideal woodcut spouses.
To read James Wood is to be shocked into both thinking and feeling how great our debt to the novel is. The church did not burn people, replied More; the state burned them. This is presumably something to do with getting all the lines in before the commercials but A few years ago i bought the box set of 'The West Wing' as a goodly number of my friends had told me I would love it. The best chapter on a specific author is the one on Melville. It looks at the Shakespearean criticism of eminence grise Harold Bloom.
Hemingway, one feels, knows in advance just what his repetitions will be; Lawrence discovers, as he proceeds, that a word has changed its meaning as he has used it, and that he will need to use the same word because it now has a different meaning. Six rebellious Oxford students were kept for months in a fish cellar; three of them died in prison. Now the heretics had to be crushed. We approach fiction with a belief it's not real, but we can overcome this belief, partly or wholly, as we become familiar with and comfortable in the world the author has created. And certainly there are worse systems of belief. But bloody hell, an awful lot of the time e. Eliot Anti-Semitism and Literary Form.