Models of Misrepresentation: On the Fiction of E.L. Doctorow Christopher D. Morris

ISBN: 9781604735284

Published: January 20th 2010

Paperback

260 pages


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Models of Misrepresentation: On the Fiction of E.L. Doctorow  by  Christopher D. Morris

Models of Misrepresentation: On the Fiction of E.L. Doctorow by Christopher D. Morris
January 20th 2010 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 260 pages | ISBN: 9781604735284 | 5.56 Mb

The work of E.L. Doctorow is most often seen as a political and cultural critique of eras of American history, like the settlement of the West, the Gilded Age, the Depression, or the beginnings of the Cold War. In his fiction critics have foundMoreThe work of E.L. Doctorow is most often seen as a political and cultural critique of eras of American history, like the settlement of the West, the Gilded Age, the Depression, or the beginnings of the Cold War.

In his fiction critics have found searching and subversive questions concerning received national values. At the same time, they have seen him as a literary experimentor, comparing his with the work of such modernist writers as Faulkner and Hemingway.Models of Misrepresentation, an original and comprehensive reading of Doctorows work, considers both these views under a broader rubric, the struggle for representation in art. The author of this penetrating and persuasive study considers this theme from a philosophical standpoint: How can the writer depict America, or how can the reader interpret its values, when the very capacity of language to represent is put in doubt, as it is in Doctorows fiction?

From this perspective, Doctorows works form part of this centurys continuing intellectual crisis over the possibility of meaning in art. The understanding of this crisis in the work of Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida shows how the broader issue of representation underpins both Doctorows political-cultural critiques and his literary experimentalism.This vantage-point sheds new light on some perennial questions that intrigue Doctorows readers: Who are the narrators of Ragtime and Loon Lake? Why do the novels left-wing critiques also undermine left-wing solutions?

What is the significance of repeated leitmotifs in his work? Who does Doctorows later fiction seem to return to simpler literary forms? In Models of Misrepresentation the answers to these questions are discovered in the novels continuing preoccupation is also apparent in Doctorows book reviews, interviews, and essays. It is animated by an intransigent despair. Looking at Doctorows novels as models of misrepresentation reveals doubts in them more dangerous than those usually associated with social satire or avant-gardism, for they extend to the heart of writing itself.



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