Doubles: Studies in Literary History

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9780198128410: Doubles: Studies in Literary History

This book examines a literary tradition that stretches from antiquity to last week's best-seller list: the alter ego, the second self, of doppelganger--the imagination of two (or more) selves in one. Miller studies literary masterpieces and real-life cases and argues that literature itself is a duality, that is the double who writes the novels and has been implicated from the first in the cultivation of uncertainty that distinguishes moden literature.
Opening with an account of one of the tradition's leading text, James Hogg's Confessions of a Justified Sinner, Miller goes on to treat the equivocal language of Romanticism, the orphan delirium of the Gothic heritage, the themes of isolation, escape, and the after-life, secrecy and literary anonymity, then Anglo-American dualistic consensus, and the important role played by dual nationality in the tradition. Included are essays on Poe, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Henry James, Edith Wharton, Robert Frost, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Norma Mailer, and Saul Bellow, and this fascinating study concludes with a discussion of recent first-hand experiences of the divided self.

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About the Author:

Karl Miller founded the London Review of Books in 1979, and went on to edit it for many years. Formerly literary editor of the Spectator and the New Statesman, and editor of the Listener, he was also Lord Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature at University College London. Among his books are Cockburn's Millennium and Doubles, which Alan Massie has described as two of 'the most illuminating books about Scotland to have appeared in my lifetime.' Karl Miller's vivid portrait of James Hogg, Electric Shepherd, appeared in 2003.

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Miller, Karl
Published by Oxford University Press (1985)
ISBN 10: 019812841X ISBN 13: 9780198128410
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Published by Oxford University Press (1985)
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