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The Great Tradition F.R. Leavis

The Great Tradition

F.R. Leavis

Published
ISBN : 9780571243624
Paperback
304 pages
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 About the Book 

The great English novelists are Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James and Joseph Conrad. . .So begins what is arguably F. R. Leaviss most controversial book, The Great Tradition, an uncompromising critical and polemical survey of English fictionMoreThe great English novelists are Jane Austen, George Eliot, Henry James and Joseph Conrad. . .So begins what is arguably F. R. Leaviss most controversial book, The Great Tradition, an uncompromising critical and polemical survey of English fiction that was first published in 1948. He puts a powerful case for moral seriousness as the necessary criterion for inclusion in any list of the finest novelists. In the course of his argument he adds D. H. Lawrence to the pantheon, and singles out Charles Dickenss Hard Times as the one work of his that has the strength of a completely serious work of art.The Great Tradition is full of Leaviss characteristically austere rejections of styles of fiction that he found lacking in moral intensity. He dismissed Lawrence Sterne for his irresponsible (and nasty) trifling. Of Henry Fielding he wrote that he is important not because he leads to Mr J. B. Priestley but because he leads to Jane Austen, to appreciate whose distinction is to feel that life isnt long enough to permit of ones giving much time to Fielding or any to Mr Priestley. Joyces Ulysses, he said, was less a new start for fiction than a dead end.Fiercely serious, pugnacious and stimulating, The Great Tradition is an unforgettable defence of those creative geniuses whose distinction is manifested in their being peculiarly alive in their time.