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Just Words : Moralism & Metalanguage in Twentieth-Century French Fiction

Greene, Robert W.

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ISBN 10: 0271008997 / ISBN 13: 9780271008998
Published by University Park, PA, U.S.A.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993, University Park, PA, U.S.A., 1993
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Hardback. Very Good. Inscribed by author. Some wear on dust jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 301298

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Just Words : Moralism & Metalanguage in ...

Publisher: University Park, PA, U.S.A.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1993, University Park, PA, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1993

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title


Are the words that a novelist uses adequate to his or her elusive subject-- the human condition? Are they pertinent, accurate, invariably fair, unflinchingly honest? Or do the novelist's words execute essentially formal maneuvers, engaging our interest through their patterns rather than their reach? And what about a possible third, synthesizing option? Robert W. Greene discovers that the two apparently divergent intentions in question (metalinguistic vs. moralistic) often paradoxically coexist in French fiction. Also, no doubt because it is more consistently self-conscious than that of any previous era, the fiction of twentieth -century France seems to illustrate this convergence with special brillance.

From L'lmmoralist (1902) to L'Usage de la parole (1980) Greene explores combinations and permutations of moralistic analysis and metalinguistic commentary in a particular sequence of prose narrative. Along the way, he observes Gide, Proust, Malraux, Camus, Duras, and Sarraute, each in his or her own fashion, moving ceaselessly back and forth between soundings of the heart and diagnoses of the tongue.

About the Author:

Robert W. Greene is Professor of French Studies at the State University of New York, Albany, and author of The Poetic Theory of Pierre Reverdy (California, 1967) and Six French Poets of Our Time (Princeton, 1979).

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