Synopses & Reviews
Peter Brooks is Recipient of the 2007 Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award
Peter Brooks has delivered a major contribution to narrative theory and critical practice in a book remarkable for its lucidity and theoretical adventurousness. Times Literary Supplement
A brilliant study...The author goes beyond what he considers the too static approach of the structuralist literary critics to probe the dynamics of narrative and show how they answer our psychic needs...Reading for the Plot is a stimulating ground-breaking book that invites us to consider anew how plotting both reflects the patterns of human destiny and seeks to impose meaning on life. Christopher Lehmann-Haupt - New York Times
What is...gratifying about Brooks's approach is his insistence that plot elements must survive even the most radical postmodern consciousness...As he so eloquently confirms, so long as there is self-conscious life on earth, there will be narrative plotting in some form or another. To expect us to give it up would be like asking us to give up breathing. Terry Eagleton - Literature and History
A major book by a major critic. It will appeal both to literary theorists and to readers of the novel, and it is likely to be seen as an important point of reference for many years to come. Terence Cave
A book which should appeal to both literary theorists and to readers of the novel, this study invites the reader to consider how the plot reflects the patterns of human destiny and seeks to impose a new meaning on life.
About the Author
Peter Brooks is Tripp Professor of Humanities at Yale University.
Table of Contents
1. Reading for the Plot
2. Narrative Desire
3. The Novel and the Guillotine, or Fathers and Sons in Le Rouge et le noir
4. Freud's Masterplot: A Model for Narrative
5. Repetition, Repression, and Return: The Plotting of Great Expectations
6. The Mark of the Beast: Prostitution, Serialization, and Narrative
7. Retrospective Lust, or Flaubert's Perversities
8. Narrative Transaction and Transference
9. An Unreadable Report: Conrad's Heart of Darkness
10. Fictions of the Wolf Man: Freud and Narrative Understanding
11. Incredulous Narration: Absalom, Absalom!
In Conclusion: Endgames and the Study of Plot