Tracing the Aesthetic Principle in Conrad's Novels

Hardcover | September 15, 2008

byYael Levin

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Tracing the Aesthetic Principle in Conrad’s Novelssets out to revolutionize our reading of Joseph Conrad’s works and challenge the critical heritage that accompanies them. Levin identifies the emergence of an aesthetic principle in Conrad’s novels and theorizes that principle through the concept of ‘the otherwise present,’ which Levin defines as that which provokes desire and perpetuates it by barring its appeasement. This book offers a detailed analysis of Lord Jim, Nostromo, Under Western Eyes, The Arrow of Gold and Suspense, alongside a poststructuralist-inspired explication of Conrad’s literary vision and its defining principle. This study is an important source for both the newcomers and the initiated to Conrad’s oeuvre.

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Tracing the Aesthetic Principle in Conrad’s Novelssets out to revolutionize our reading of Joseph Conrad’s works and challenge the critical heritage that accompanies them. Levin identifies the emergence of an aesthetic principle in Conrad’s novels and theorizes that principle through the concept of ‘the otherwise present,’ which Levin ...

Yael Levin is Lecturer, Department of English, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She has published on Conrad in The Conradian, Partial Answers, and Conradiana and is the recipient of the American Conrad Society’s Bruce Harkness Award for the Young Conrad Scholar of 2005.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.56 inPublished:September 15, 2008Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230609864

ISBN - 13:9780230609860

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"This original, well-written, and carefully thought-out volume offers a valuable and original contribution as well as a worthy challenge to Conrad studies."--The Conradian“Levin’s concept of the ‘otherwise present’–the continued and continual oscillation between absence and presence–proves to be immensely productive for the reader of Joseph Conrad’s fiction. Her book gripped me from first to last page: it is engagingly but compellingly written, and chock-full of striking, surprising, and ultimately convincing insights into Conrad’s texts. Tracing the Aesthetic Principle in Conrad’s Novels is an outstanding book that should be read by every serious student of Conrad.”--Jeremy Hawthorn, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and author of Sexuality and the Erotic in the Fiction of Joseph Conrad“This is one of the most suggestive and genuinely innovative works of Conrad criticism for some time. Levin develops her concept of the ‘otherwise present’ through close readings of a range of Conrad’s works from Lord Jim to neglected later works such as Suspense. Through attention to the thematics of spectrality--to guilt, shame, desire, hope and their otherwise present projections--and an engagement with some of Conrad’s characteristic methods of story-telling, Levin demonstrates the flexibility and the rich hermeneutic and narratological possibilities of the concept both within and beyond Conrad studies. ‘See otherwise, see better.’”--Robert Hampson, Head of the Department of English, Royal Holloway, University of London