Ethics and Narrative in the English Novel, 1880ÔÇô1914

Ethics and Narrative in the English Novel, 1880ÔÇô1914

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Jil Larson
Cambridge University Press, 3/8/2001
EAN 9780521792820, ISBN10: 0521792827

Hardcover, 188 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm
Language: English

Drawing on interdisciplinary work in the field of ethics and literature by a diverse range of thinkers, including Martha Nussbaum, Emmanuel Levinas and Paul Ricoeur, Jil Larson offers new readings of late Victorian and turn-of-the-century British fiction, she shows how ethical concepts can transform our understanding of narratives, just as narratives make possible a valuable, contextualised moral deliberation. Focusing on novels by Thomas Hardy, Sarah Grand, Olive Schreiner, Oscar Wilde, and Henry James, Larson explores the conjunction of ethics and fin-de-siècle history and culture through a consideration of what narratives from this period tell us about emotion, reason, and gender, aestheticism, and such speech acts as promising and lying. This book will be of interest to scholars of nineteenth century and modernism, and all interested in the conjunction between narrative, ethics and literary theory.

1. Ethics and the turn to narrative
2. Victorian history and ethics
anxiety at the fin-de-siecle
3. Emotion, gender, and ethics in fiction by Thomas Hardy, and the New Women Writers
4. When hope unblooms
chance and moral luck in A Laodicean, The Mayor of Casterbridge, and Tess
5. Oscar Wilde and Henry James
aestheticizing ethics
6. Promises, lies and ethical agency in Joseph Conrad's Under Western Eyes

"...Larson's book is a challenging reevaluation of ethical criticism and Victorian novels." Religious Studies Review

"Larson's book proves to be a solid study of ethics and narrative...The Afterword is valuable for its succinct recapitulation of the study's premises and conclusions. The volume concludes with twenty-two pages of notes, a solid bibliography, and a short index." English Literature in Transition, 1880-1920

"Jil Larson offers an intriguing new volume...Larson's ethical readings succeed admirably in terms of ethical criticism's interpretive potential for both camps." George Eliot-George Henry Lewes Studies

"This is a valuable moment in a study by a critic with a rare combination of knowledge of recent moral philosophy, ethical criticism, and criticism of late-nineteenth-century British novelists." Victorian Studies