Novelist and critic Malcolm Bradbury brings a passionate reader's zeal and the experience of 30 years' critiquing modern Aemrican and European literature to this study of the flourishing exchange of ideas between the Old World and the New. The result is a playful, engrossing literary adventure that offers a new perspective for scholars and a ...
Novelist and critic Malcolm Bradbury brings a passionate reader's zeal and the experience of 30 years' critiquing modern Aemrican and European literature to this study of the flourishing exchange of ideas between the Old World and the New. The result is a playful, engrossing literary adventure that offers a new perspective for scholars and a fascinating read for book lovers on both sides of the Atlantic.
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Publishers Weekly, 1996-06-10 Bradbury, an English novelist who seems to have spent a lifetime studying and enjoying what he calls trans-Atlantic fiction, shows how, from almost the very beginning of American literature, British and American novelists have influenced each other's work more than they might care to admit. And the influence has come not from aping style but from the myths traded back and forth about each other. Washington Irving, for example, spent much of his writing career abroad and, in his Sketch Book, created not only Rip Van Winkle but also cozy essays that established the American view of Merrie Olde England that exists even today. Dickens crossed the Atlantic in search of Utopia, and the reality he found, Bradbury says, made him a better writer. Among the other Americans Bradbury covers in detail are Cooper, Melville, Hawthorne, Twain, Gertrude Stein, Hemingway and James Baldwin. The Europeans include Trollope, Thackeray, Kipling, Waugh, Lawrence and such non-Brits as Chateaubriand and Nabokov. Also included are some autobiographical memories of Bradbury's own post-WWII adventures at the University of Indiana. The scholarship and critical observations throughout are impressive, but Bradbury's engaging personality is what makes the book a special pleasure. This is literary history at its best. (Aug.)
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