Download Acts of Naming: The Family Plot in Fiction by Michael Ragussis PDF

By Michael Ragussis

Michael Ragussis re-reads the novelistic culture via arguing the acts of naming--bestowing, revealing, or incomes a reputation; getting rid of, hiding, or prohibiting a reputation; slandering, or keeping and serving it--lie on the heart of fictional plots from the 18th century to the current. opposed to the historical past of philosophic techniques to naming, Acts of Naming finds the ways that platforms of naming are used to suitable characters in novels as various as Clarissa, Fanny Hill, Oliver Twist, Pierre, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Remembrance of items prior, and Lolita, and identifies unnaming and renaming because the locus of strength within the family's plot to manage the kid, and extra quite, to rape the daughter. His research additionally treats extra works via Cooper, Bront?, Hawthorne, Eliot, Twain, Conrad, and Faulkner, extending the concept that of the naming plot to reimagine the traditions of the radical, evaluating American and British plots, male and female plots, inheritance and seduction plots, and so forth. Acts of Naming ends with a theoretical exploration of the "magical" strength of naming in several eras and in numerous, even competing, different types of discourse.

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Extra info for Acts of Naming: The Family Plot in Fiction

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In seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century language philosophy, the terms mark and name are used almost interchangeably,8 and in the tradition of fiction I am describing the marked face tells one's name— after all, the marks on one's face reveal who one's parents are. We will see many examples of this in the following pages, but I wish to give an especially relevant one from Tess of the d'Urbervilles. " 9 Hardy suggests here that if Tess had relied on her reading of the face she would have known from the start that Alec was not kin, not the true bearer of the family name.

Brownlow's first meeting with Oliver, for example, sends the old man into a long and melancholy meditation because the child's face calls up "faces over which a dusky curtain had hung for many years," "faces that the grave had changed and closed upon, but which the mind, superior to its power, still dressed in their old fashions and beauty: calling back the lustre of the eyes, the brightness of the smile, the bearing of the soul through its mask of clay: and whispering of beauty beyond the tomb, changed but to be heightened" (61-62).

In seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century language philosophy, the terms mark and name are used almost interchangeably,8 and in the tradition of fiction I am describing the marked face tells one's name— after all, the marks on one's face reveal who one's parents are. We will see many examples of this in the following pages, but I wish to give an especially relevant one from Tess of the d'Urbervilles. " 9 Hardy suggests here that if Tess had relied on her reading of the face she would have known from the start that Alec was not kin, not the true bearer of the family name.

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