By Nicholas Royle, Andrew Bennett
This booklet provides the foremost severe techniques in literary experiences at the present time, warding off the jargonistic, summary nature of a lot `theory'. The authors discover an important matters in modern feedback and concept via focusing heavily on a number texts, from Chaucer to Achebe and from Milton to Morrison.
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The essay gives us two Freuds, or a kind of doubleFreud, and this double spends the essay investigating the importance among other things of the idea of the double. What makes the double uncanny? According to Freud’s essay, the double is paradoxically both a promise of immortality (look, there’s my double, I can be reproduced, I can live forever) and a harbinger of death (look, there I am, no longer me here, but there: I am about to die, or else I must be dead already). The notion of the double undermines the very logic of identity.
The sentence is playing a type of literary game with conventions of novel-openings. Of course we quickly learn that the ‘I’ here is a 16-year-old American boy called Holden Caulfield, but this is not something that is made clear in the first sentence. qxd 13/05/2004 14:44 Page 19 . D. Salinger. The literary game that is set in motion by this opening sentence has to do with the relationship between fiction (a novel) and truth (biography or autobiography), as well as between an author and a narrator.
The author is an absent presence, both there and not there. You may feel that you understand like nobody else what it is that the author is saying; and you may be willing to acknowledge that this author can express your opinions, thoughts and feelings as well as or even better than you yourself could. This is, in fact, precisely how the greatness of Shakespeare is often described. It is what William Hazlitt says, for example, in his 1818 lecture ‘On Shakespeare and Milton’: ‘the striking peculiarity of Shakespeare’s mind’ is ‘its power of communication with all other minds’ (Hazlitt 1910, 47).
An Introduction to Literature, Criticism and Theory by Nicholas Royle, Andrew Bennett