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The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief (Paperback)
  • The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief (Paperback)
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The Broken Estate: Essays on Literature and Belief (Paperback)

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£16.99
Paperback 336 Pages / Published: 02/03/2000
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In a series of long essays, James Wood examines the connection between literature and religious belief, in a startlingly wide group of writers. Wood re-appraises the writing of such figures as Thomas More, Jane Austen, Herman Melville, Anton Chekhov, Thomas Mann, Nikolai Gogol, Gustave Flaubert and Virginia Woolf, vigorously reading them against the grain of received opinion, and illuminatingly relating them to questions of religious and phiosophical belief. Contemporary writers, such as Martin Amis, Thomas Pynchon and George Steiner, are also discussed, with the boldness and attention to language that have made Wood such an influential and controversial figure. Writing here about his own childhood struggle to believe, Wood says that 'the child of evangelism, if he does not believe, inherits nevertheless a suspicion of indifference'. Wood brings that suspicion to bear on literature itself. The result is a unique book of criticism.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780712665575
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 216 x 139 x 25 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"Wood is not just a keen critic, our best, but a superb writer" -- Adam Begley * Financial Times *
"A close reader of genius... Illuminating and exciting and compelling... one never doubts the soundness of his judgements... There is wonderful writing throughout this collection, by turns luscious and muscular, committed and disdaining, passionate and minutely considered" -- John Banville * Irish Times *
"He is one of literature's true lovers, and his deeply felt, contentious essays are thrilling in their reach and moral seriousness" -- Susan Sontag
"Magnificent... Like all good critics, he is a story-teller of the art of reading, recreating the experience on the page for us" -- Evening Standard * Francis Spufford *
"We have very few critics who can vie with Jarrell and Toynbee, who can remind us that talking about literature is a part of what literature is about, and talking about it with passion, precision, and out of a rich store of reading is a rare and precious gift: it is good for all of us that James Wood has it and we have James Wood" -- Gabriel Josipovici * Times Literary Supplement *

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