The Name of Action: Critical Essays (Cambridge Paperback Library)

The Name of Action: Critical Essays (Cambridge Paperback Library)

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John Fraser
Cambridge University Press, 12/20/1984
EAN 9780521277457, ISBN10: 0521277450

Paperback, 276 pages, 21.3 x 14 x 1.6 cm
Language: English

This selection from John Fraser's essays forms a triptych with his Violence in the Arts and America and the Patterns of Chivalry (published by the Press in 1974 and 1982) and, like them, explores conflicting attitudes towards self-affirmation and social order. Important concerns in all three works are ideas of energy, power, and personal plenitude, and the way in which idealism and heroic intensity can sometimes lead to overstrain and collapse. Yet the dominant emphasis is positive. In this volume the author offers some of his finest analyses both of the workings of heroic and pastoral ideals and of the dangers of irony and nihilism in a violent world. The essays range in subject from Shakespeare to Atget's photographs of Paris, by way of American fiction, sadomasochism, literary theory and patterns of rural culture. Their implicit argument is subtle and absorbing.

Part I
1. Prospero's book
The Tempest revisited
2. Dust and dreams and The Great Gatsby
3. In defence of culture
Huckleberry Finn
4. Othello and honour
5. The name of action
Nelly Dean and Wuthering Heights
6. Crime and forgiveness
The Red Badge of Courage in time of war
7. Rereading Traven's The Death Ship
Part II
8. A dangerous book?
The Story of O
9. Yvor Winters
the perils of mind
10. Mr Frye and evaluation
11. Swift and the decay of letters
Part III
12. Theories and practices
the Hammonds' The Village Labourer
13. George Sturt's apprenticeship
14. Atget and the city
15. Reflections on the organic community