The spy story

by Cawelti, John G.

Format: Print Book 1987
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PR888.S65 C38 1987
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PR888.S65 C38 1987
Why has the spy story become such a popular form of entertainment in our time? In this fascinating account of the genre's evolution, John G. Cawelti and Bruce A. Rosenberg explore the social, political, and artistic sources of the spy story's wide appeal. They show how, in a time of bewildering political and corporate organization, the spy story has become increasingly relevant, the secret agent hero expressing the feelings of divided and ambiguous loyalties with which many individuals face the modern world.

In addition to a general history of the genre, Cawelti and Rosenberg present in-depth analyses of the work of certain writers who have given the spy story its shape, among them John Buchan, Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, Ian Fleming, and John le Carré. The Spy Story also includes an extensive appendix, featuring a literary and historical bibliography of espionage and clandestinity, a list of the best spy novels and films, a catalog of major spy writers and their heroes, and a selection of novels on espionage themes written by major twentieth-century authors and public figures.

Written in a lively style that reflects the authors' enthusiasm for this intriguing form, The Spy Story will be read with pleasure by devotees of the genre as well as students of popular culture.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Too often critical studies of popular literature fall into one of two traps: either they offer only glorified plot summaries, or they leave books behind altogether, launching grandiose theories based on psychoanalysis, deconstructionism, etc. Fortunately, Cawelti and Rosenberg avoid both snares in this exemplary study of spy novels. After some fascinating speculation on ``the appeal of clandestinity,'' they trace the history of spy fiction, perceptively analyzing three dominant forms: the heroic mode, common just after World War I and again later, with modifications, in the work of Ian Fleming; the sinister mode, typified by Eric Ambler and Graham Greene, in which treachery and betrayal replace adventure at the narrative's center; and the ironic mode, John le Carr country, in which ``the protagonists succeed only at the cost of becoming dehumanized.'' Whether setting context, plotting history, or explicating specific texts, the authors write crisply and convincingly. Pop criticism as it ought to be done. Bibliographies, filmography; to be indexed. BO. 823'.0872 Spy stories, English History and criticism / English fiction 20th century History and criticism [OCLC] 86-30716"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Spy stories, English -- History and criticism.
English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Publisher Chicago :University of Chicago Press,1987
Contributors Rosenberg, Bruce A.
Language English
Notes Includes index.
Description x, 259 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography Notes Bibliography: pages 247-251.
ISBN 0226098680
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