The Sense Of A Beginning: Theory Of The Literary Opening by Niels Buch LeanderThe Sense Of A Beginning: Theory Of The Literary Opening by Niels Buch Leander

The Sense Of A Beginning: Theory Of The Literary Opening

byNiels Buch Leander

Hardcover | March 15, 2018

Pricing and Purchase Info

$48.05 online 
$52.00 list price save 7%
Earn 240 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


The Sense of a Beginning is the first comprehensive exploration of the openings of novels. With a title that deliberately echoes Frank Kermode’s famous book on endings, the book addresses the formal challenge of opening lines, especially in modernism, and illustrates their significance to both literary creation and literary criticism. Niels Buch Leander’s approach is wide-ranging, examining how beginnings in fiction relate to beginnings in nature, how they work from a formal and narrative point of view, how modernist self-awareness plays out in openings, and how openings have altered criticism itself through intertextuality. Drawing on examples from D. H. Lawrence, Thomas Mann, Paul Valery, and more, as well as appraisals by critics like Roland Barthes and Edward Said, Leander fills a truly surprising gap in literary scholarship.
Niels Buch Leander is M.A. in Philosophy from Trinity College, University of Cambridge; D.E.A. in Philosophical Aesthetics and in French Literature from the Sorbonne, Paris; and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. Leander holds a position as Managing Consultant and Global Regulatory Affairs Lead at NNIT in Copenhag...
Title:The Sense Of A Beginning: Theory Of The Literary OpeningFormat:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 9.5 × 6 × 0.8 inPublished:March 15, 2018Publisher:Museum Tusculanum PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:8763543869

ISBN - 13:9788763543866


Editorial Reviews

"Having received his PhD in comparative literature, Buch Leander previously enjoyed critical attention for his chapter in Narrative Beginnings: Theories and Practices, ed. by Brian Richardson (2008). The present title, a recasting of Buch Leander's dissertation, comes with the endorsement of the highly regarded Jonathan Culler, Buch Leander’s dissertation committee chair, who writes that "this book will become a standard reference point for people writing on the novel." Buch Leander ambitiously attempts a comprehensive taxonomy of the openings of novels, the first such study ever to be published. Consisting of four chapters, an epilogue, and an appendix that critiques the evolution of narrative openings from the Greeks through the emergence and ongoing development of the novel, the book is thorough in its examination of previous criticism. Focusing almost exclusively on American and European literature and criticism, the author pays particularly close attention to the impact of modernity on the openings of novels. Since it assumes near-expert familiarity with relatively complex literary theory, this study is not appropriate for nonspecialists. Recommended."