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Myths of Modern Individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe - Canto original series (Paperback)
  • Myths of Modern Individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe - Canto original series (Paperback)
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Myths of Modern Individualism: Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan, Robinson Crusoe - Canto original series (Paperback)

(author)
£25.99
Paperback 312 Pages / Published: 13/02/1997
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In this volume, Ian Watt examines the myths of Faust, Don Quixote, Don Juan and Robinson Crusoe, as the distinctive products of modern society. He traces the way the original versions of Faust, Don Quixote and Don Juan - all written within a forty-year period during the Counter Reformation - presented unflattering portrayals of the three figures, while the Romantic period two centuries later recreated them as admirable and even heroic. The twentieth century retained their prestige as mythical figures, but with a new note of criticism. Robinson Crusoe came much later than the other three, but his fate can be seen as representative of the new religious, economic and social attitudes which succeeded the Counter-Reformation. The four figures help to reveal problems of individualism in the modern period: solitude, narcissism, and the claims of the self versus the claims of society. They all pursue their own view of what they should be, raising strong questions about their heroes' character and the societies whose ideals they reflect.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521585644
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 400 g
Dimensions: 216 x 138 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'In its way this is as original a work as Watt's famous first book, The Rise of the Novel. It is a work of great maturity, testimony to the intelligence and civility of its author.' Frank Kermode
'Ian Watt's magisterial Myths of Modern Individualism is a critical account - historical, cultural, moral and aesthetic - of how four great Western myths have insinuated themselves into the actualities of modern culture. Like all of Watt's work this is a remarkable work of the historical imagination, sympathetic without being fussy, erudite but always deft, analytic but very warm and witty. This is a book everyone should read.' Edward Said
'Watt has dug deep and come up with indispensable revelations about where we come from and where we are now as we 'individuals' grapple with our inescapable complaints about, yet need for, 'society'.' The Boston Book Review

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