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Table of Contents

I. Fiction and Reality * Mimesis and the Motive for Fiction * History and the New American Novel * The American Political Novel * The Real and Imaginary Worlds of Norman Mailer * Nabokov and the Art of Politics * Ada, or the Perils of Paradise * Tristrant Shandy and the Game of Love * The Demons of History in Dickens's Tale * Flaubert Through His Letters * Proust and the Ideological Reader * Borges, Stevens, and Post-Symbolist Writing * Daniel Martin and the Mimetic Task II. The Stances of Criticism * The American Edmund Wilson * Literature and Ideology in the Thirties * The Education of Alfred Kazin * Literary Lives * Notes * Credits * Index

About the Author

Robert Alter is Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of numerous critical works, including the prize-winning The Art of Biblical Narrative.


With refreshing modesty and directness, [Alter] addresses large and important issues... There is a verve, and even a sting, in his prose, but his judgments are fair. -- Victor Brombert * New Republic *

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