Recovering your story : Proust, Joyce, Woolf, Faulkner, Morrison

by Weinstein, Arnold L.

Format: Print Book 2006
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
Andrew Carnegie Free Library Nonfiction 823 W423
Location  Andrew Carnegie Free Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  823 W423
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PR888.S427 W45 2006
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PR888.S427 W45 2006
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection PR888.S427 W45 2006
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  PR888.S427 W45 2006
"Great art discovers for us who we are," writes eminent literature professor and critic Arnold Weinstein in this magisterial new book about how we can better uncover and understand our own stories by reading five major modern writers. Professor Weinstein, author of the highly acclaimed A Scream Goes Through the House, has spent a lifetime guiding students through the work of great writers, and in a volume that crowns his career, Weinstein invites us to discover ourselves--our perceptions, our dreams, our own elusive, deepest stories--in the masterpieces of modernist fiction.
Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner: the very names sound intimidating. Yet as Weinstein argues with wit and passion, the works of these authors, and of their contemporary heir Toni Morrison, are in fact shimmering mirrors of our own inner world and most intimate thoughts. Novels such as Remembrance of Things Past, Ulysses, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom!, and Beloved allow us to explore the inner worlds of human feeling and bring us face-to-face with our own deepest selves and desires. Weinstein decodes these great novels, and he shows how to read them to understand human beings--the way our minds and hearts actually work. This is what Weinstein means by "recovering your story."
Weinstein illuminates the complex pleasures woven into these peerless narratives. Beneath the slow, sensual cadences of Proust he finds an edgy erotic tension as well as a remarkably crisp depiction of the timeless world inside the self. Joyce's Ulysses, in Weinstein's brilliantly original reading, is a protean linguistic experiment that forces us to view both our bodies and our minds in a radically new--and hilariously funny--light. His analysis of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse circles back again and again on Woolf's depiction of the importance of relationships in knowing the self. Faulkner, argues Weinstein, is at once our greatest tragedian and our darkest comedian, a novelist who captures both the agony and absurdity of consciousness in a time of social and moral disintegration. Finally, in Toni Morrison's Beloved, Weinstein explores the legacy of modernism in a contemporary novel, as Morrison brings the body into the literary picture, confronting how the body affects not only our fundamental concept of self, but also consciousness itself.
In this magnificent work of literary appreciation and exploration, Weinstein makes the astonishing discovery of the self as a part of the joy of reading great modernist fiction, even as he makes these powerful works understandable, accessible, indeed imperative for all adventurous readers.

From the Hardcover edition.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Weinstein accepts as irretrievable the loss of the hospitable relationship that once linked novelists to their readers. Yet it grieves him that the daunting techniques of the modernist masters (Proust, Joyce, Woolf, and Faulkner) and of their most accomplished heir (Morrison) separate most ordinary readers from their works. The works of these gifted writers, Weinstein insists, can still function as Stendhal's walking mirror once did by giving today's readers a telling reflection of the deep interior of their own lives. For it is within intensely private thought and feeling, not in external events, that all of the authors here inscribe the meaning of their unsettling narratives. True, the novels do force their readers to discern a personal mosaic in the scattered shards of experience and to do so unguided by an omniscient narrative voice. But despite the contrary doubts of post-structuralist critics, Weinstein asserts that fictional protagonists and real-life readers alike can still recover the authentic story of their lives from a hiding place deep inside consciousness, even when scarred by trauma or deadened by routine. Rarely has literary scholarship spoken more cogently to general readers. --Bryce Christensen Copyright 2005 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Weinstein, a professor of comparative literature at Brown, sets out to open up some of the great works of 20th-century fiction to the general reader. His decades in academia show: this is a teacherly account of the authors covered, and although the prose is mostly accessible and shies away from academic jargon, a reader must come to the book with some knowledge of concepts not usually discussed in general conversation: epistemology, jouissance and the Southern Code, to name a few. At first blush, the thesis of the book seems both restricting and reductive: that these novels help us discover "our story, our consciousness of things," as if the only reason to read were a narcissistic project of self-betterment. In fact, though, Weinstein's vision is far more generous. His claim, with other lovers of literature, is that fiction teaches nothing less than "how the heart lives, and how it dies. That is why we have art." At the heart of the project lies a very personal essay on the works of Virginia Woolf that both illuminates the methods and meanings of her novels while at the same time illustrating how they can speak to an individual reader's soul. (On sale Mar. 14) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Faulkner, William, -- 1897-1962 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Proust, Marcel, -- 1871-1922. -- À la recherche du temps perdu.
Woolf, Virginia, -- 1882-1941 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Joyce, James, -- 1882-1941. -- Ulysses.
Morrison, Toni. -- Beloved.
English fiction -- 20th century -- History and criticism.
Self in literature.
Psychological fiction -- History and criticism.
Consciousness in literature.
Fiction -- Appreciation.
Publisher New York :Random House,2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description xii, 496 pages ; 25 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [479]-484) and index.
ISBN 140006094X (acid-free paper)
Other Classic View