A Mirror in the Roadway : Literature and the Real World
Morris DicksteinISBN: 0691119961; 9780691119960;
Book Description In a famous passage in The Red and the Black , the French writer Stendhal described the novel as a mirror being carried along a roadway. In the twentieth century this was derided as a naive notion of realism. Instead, modernwriters experimented with creative forms of invention and dislocation. Deconstructive theorists went even further, questioning whether literature had any real reference to a world outside its own language, while traditional historians challenged whether novels gave a trustworthy representation of history and society. In this book, Morris Dickstein reinterprets Stendhal's metaphor and tracks the different worlds of a wide array of twentieth-century writers, from realists like Theodore Dreiser, Sinclair Lewis, Edith Wharton, and Willa Cather, through modernists like Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett, to wildly inventive postwar writers like Saul Bellow, Gunter Grass, Mary McCarthy, George Orwell, Philip Roth, and Gabriel...