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The English Novel
Edited by C.H. Sisson
RRP: GBP£ 6.95
You Save: GBP£ 0.70
Price: GBP£ 6.25
Out of Print
ISBN: 978 0 856354 80 9
Imprint: Lives and Letters
Published: January 1983
216 x 135 mm
Publisher: Carcanet Press
'what Ford conveys above all is less his particular preference than his
radical passion for the novel as an instrument and what can be done with it.'
Of all Ford Madox Ford's critical works, The English Novel (first published
in 1930) is his most complete and satisfying. He tells us that he wrote it
largely while travelling: memory with its passions and rejections plays a
great part. It certainly does not smell of the lamp or the library: we
should not look here for close readings or for absolute fidelity to fact.
Instead, we follow our guide -- himself one of the great innovative
novelists of the century -- as he takes us on a rapid, clarifying tour of
the dominant literary form of the age, from its birth to his own time.
Ford's comments are those of a man with an acute appreciation of
the novel form, its development and potential. especially pertinent is his
radical criticism of the nineteenth-century novel and his championing of
Flaubert and Conrad. His association and collaboration with Conrad make the
passages on the author of Nostromo (to which he contributed certain
passages) some of the most compelling in the book.
Ford insists that what he offers are 'suggestions not dictates'.
His book does not espouse an orthodoxy: it urges a fresh reading of what he
has identified as the best work in our (European) tradition, with pointers
in unexpected directions. Though the book is almost seventy years old, it
remains compulsively readable. 'In perusing this sort of book,' Ford
writes, 'the reader must be prepared to do a great deal of the work himself
-- within his own mind.' A definite critic in his sure understanding of
technique, his taste and his perception of directions in literature are
vivid and suggestive.
The volume is part of The Millennium Ford project which aims to
bring all the major writings of this great writer back into circulation.
See also pages XX, XX and XX of this catalogue.
Praise for Ford Madox Ford 'Of the various demands one can make of the novelist, that he show us the way in which a society works, that he show an understanding of the human heart, that he create characters whose reality we believe and for whose fate we care, that he describe things and people so that we feel their physical presence, that he illuminate our moral consciousness, that he make us laugh and cry, that he delight us by his craftsmanship, there is not one, it seems to me, that Ford does not completely satisfy. There are not many English novels which deserve to be called great: Parade's End is one of them.'
We thank the Arts Council England for their support and assistance in this interactive Project.
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