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The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures)

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The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Frank Kermode has long held a distinctive place among modern critics. He brings to the study of literature a fine and fresh critical intelligence that is always richly suggestive, never modish. He offers here an inquiry--elegant in conception and style--into the art of interpretation. His subject quite simply is meanings; how they are revealed and how they are concealed.

Drawing on the venerable tradition of biblical interpretation, Mr. Kermode examines some enigmatic passages and episodes in the gospels. From his reading come ideas about what makes interpretation possible--and often impossible. He considers ways in which narratives acquire opacity, and he asks whether there are methods of distinguishing all possible meaning from a central meaning which gives the story its structure. He raises questions concerning the interpretation of single texts in relation to their context in a writer's work and a tradition; considers the special interpretative problems of historical narration; and tries to relate the activities of the interpreter to interpretation more broadly conceived as a means of living in the world.

While discussing the gospels, Mr. Kermode touches upon such literary works as Kafka's parables, Joyce's Ulysses, Henry James's novels, and Pynchon's Crying of Lot 49. By showing the relationships between religious interpretation and literary criticism, he has enhanced both fields.

Review:

"Despite the title, the Charles Eliot Norton lectures delivered at Harvard in 197778 concern a reading of Mark's Gospel, and not narrative in any general sense. Beyond the misleading, if provocative, title, then, it is disappointing to see Kermode lavish deference on English Biblical scholars whilst he does not spare the European philosophers on whose reinterpretation of hermeneutics he entirely depends for his teasing condescension; it suggests, after all, a narrow ethnocentricism of which we know him to be innocent. Yet Kermode's oratory is not without a certain mysterious radiance for all that." Reviewed by Karen Kevorkian, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)

Synopsis:

Drawing on the venerable tradition of biblical interpretation, Kermode examines some enigmatic passages and episodes in the gospels. From his reading come ideas about what makes interpretation possible--and often impossible. He considers ways in which narratives acquire opacity, and he asks whether there are methods of distinguishing all possible meaning from a central meaning which gives the story its structure.

About the Author

Frank Kermode is Julian Clarence Levi Professor of English Literature, Columbia University, and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge.

Table of Contents

I. Carnal and Spiritual Senses

II. Hoti's Business: Why Are Narratives Obscure?

III. The Man in the Macintosh, The Boy in the Shirt

IV. Necessities of Upspringing

V. What Precisely Are the Facts?

VI. The Unfollowable World

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780674345355
Author:
Kermode, Frank
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Location:
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Subject:
Rhetoric
Subject:
Bible - Hermeneutics
Subject:
Semiotics & Theory
Subject:
Narration (rhetoric)
Subject:
Hermeneutics
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
Religion : Biblical Criticism & Interpretation - General
Copyright:
Series:
Charles Eliot Norton Lectures
Series Volume:
1999
Publication Date:
January 2005
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
none
Pages:
196
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 10 oz

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Related Subjects

Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Religion » Christianity » General
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The Genesis of Secrecy: On the Interpretation of Narrative (Charles Eliot Norton Lectures) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 196 pages Harvard University Press - English 9780674345355 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Drawing on the venerable tradition of biblical interpretation, Kermode examines some enigmatic passages and episodes in the gospels. From his reading come ideas about what makes interpretation possible--and often impossible. He considers ways in which narratives acquire opacity, and he asks whether there are methods of distinguishing all possible meaning from a central meaning which gives the story its structure.
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