New Readings of the American Novel
Narrative Theory and its Applications
336 Pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in
- Published: August 1998
Peter Messent forcefully applies individual narrative theories (on character construction, time and narrative, reader response, dialogics, and so on) to a number of major American novels. In the final chapter, these theories are then brought to bear on Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God, both to show the flexibility of the models used and to suggest a move in the direction of a widening of the American literary canon to attempt to capture what Sacvan Bercovitch calls "the heterogeneity of America."
Resolutely arguing for the grounding of the literary text in its social and historical context, the author offers students and scholars of American literature a plurality of critical approaches developed in a systematic way. A new introduction to this second edition reflects on the book's critical position in light of recent developments in the field.