Modern British Fiction

Modern British Fiction

Modern British Fiction

Modern British Fiction

Excerpt

The essays in this collection, taken as a whole, attempt to accomplish two purposes. The first is to define twentieth-century British fiction in general, to show how it is different from fiction that came earlier. If Thomas Hardy seems to be the last of the nineteenth- century novelists rather than the first of the twentieth, he still serves as a bridge to the present, and, more than that, as a reference backwards against which such a more modern spirit as Joseph Conrad can be measured. The second purpose is to evaluate, through their major works, the major novelists. Occasionally, in the body of the book, these novelists are treated in general terms, but most of the essays are on individual works and concern themselves with analyses of techniques, explications of themes, investigations of structures, commentaries on aesthetic and moral preoccupations. The variety of approaches should in itself suggest something of the variety of the fictional achievement.

I am indebted to my wife and Miss Ann Goolsby for assistance in the preparation of this book.

Berkeley, California January 1961

Mark Schorer . . .

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