Realism and Naturalism: The Novel in an Age of Transition

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Univ of Wisconsin Press, 2005 - 312 pages
Lehan's book provides readers with an illuminating and readable comprehensive intellectual and literary history of the major American, British, and Continental novels of Realism and Naturalism from 1850 to 1950. He offers readers a new way of reading these novels-working outward from the text to forms of historical representation. In this way, literary naturalism can be seen as a narrative mode that creates its own reality separate from that of other narrative modes. Employing this strategy, Lehan contends, readers will find a spectrum of meaning in these works that allows and encourages intertextuality-one novel talking or responding to another-for example, Zola's Nana to Dreiser's Sister Carrie or Zola's L'Assomoir to Sinclair's The Jungle.
The range of novelists and sub genres is staggering-Lehan studies the gothic novel, the urban novel, the detective novel, the novel of imperial adventure, the western novel, the noir novel, and the novels of utopia and distopia.

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About the author (2005)

Richard Lehan received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1958. He taught at the University of Texas, Austin, from 1958 to 1962 and at UCLA from 1962 to the present. He won the distinguished teaching award at Texas in 1961 and at UCLA in 1970. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright award, and a President's Fellowship from the University of California. He is the author of seven other books, including The City in Literature (1998), and of many literary essays and reviews.

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