Signs Taken for Wonders: On the Sociology of Literary Forms

Front Cover
Shakespearean tragedy and Dracula, Sherlock Holmes and Ulysses, Frankenstei and The Waste Land--all are celebrated "wonders" of modern literature, whether in its mandarin or popular form. However, it is the fact that these texts are so central to our contemporary notion of literature that sometimes hinders our ability to understand them. Franco Moretti applies himself to this problem by drawing skillfully on structuralist, sociological and psycho-analytic modes of enquity in order to read these texts as literary systems which are tokens of wider cultural and political realities. In the process, Moretti offers us compelling accounts of various literary genres, explores the relationships between high and mass culture in this century, and considers the relevance of tragic, Romantic and Darwinian views of the world.
 

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Contents

The Great Eclipse
42
Dialectic of Fear
83
Homo Palpitans
109
Clues
130
Kindergarten
157
The Long Goodbye
182
From The Waste Land to the Artificial Paradise
209
Index
269
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About the author (2005)

Franco Moretti teaches English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of Signs Taken for Wonders, The Way of the World and Modern Epic, all from Verso.

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