The Light of Imagination: Mavis Gallant's Fiction

Besner, Neil K.

Published by Univ of British Columbia Pr
ISBN 10: 0774802979 / ISBN 13: 9780774802970
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Mavis Gallant's still growing reputation as one of the finest living fiction writers in English rests on her work over the last thirty-five years. A Canadian who has long made her home in Paris, Gallant has published over one hundred stories -- most of them in the New Yorker -- as well as two novels, a play, and several important essays.

The Light of Imagination is the first book to consider the entire range of Gallant's fiction. It includes biographical detail, discussion of her non-fiction writings, and substantial analyses of her books of short stories and her two novels. Besner shows how Gallant's fiction evokes the tensions between North American and European social, political, and historical perceptions more fully and subtly than the work of any writer since Henry James. In Gallant's stories the misapprehension of the past emerges from the various cultural, social, and political upheavals which both precipitated and followed World War II. Her North Americans abroad encounter a postwar European landscape which shows them to be living largely unaware of history's more immediate European legacies. Her vision of North American and European perceptions of history provides one framework for Besner's discussion of her work.

Another line of analysis traces the importance of figures of 'return' when characters and cultures grapple with the past as it inhabits the present. Because her stories often eddy around significant moments in a character's memory or a culture's history, the plot device of the return exerts a strong shaping influence on her fiction. The book culminates by showing that Gallant's stories can be read as explorations of human time, stories which call the fragmented imaginative being of the past into full fictional presence.

The title originates in a passage from a Gallant story when 'the light of imagination' momentarily illuminates and unifies the central character's perception of the past. The significance of this 'light of imagination,' in Besner's study, opens a way for the understanding of the form and function of similar moments throughout Gallant's fiction.

About the Author: Neil K. Besner is a member of the English department at the University of Winnipeg.

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Title: The Light of Imagination: Mavis Gallant's ...
Publisher: Univ of British Columbia Pr
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine

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Besner, Neil K.
Published by Univ of British Columbia Pr (1988)
ISBN 10: 0774802979 ISBN 13: 9780774802970
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Besner, Neil K.
Published by Univ of British Columbia Pr (1988)
ISBN 10: 0774802979 ISBN 13: 9780774802970
Used Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Univ of British Columbia Pr, 1988. Condition: Good. 0th Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP87395485

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