© 1999

The Practice of Reading

Interpreting the Novel

  • Authors

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Derek Alsop, Chris Walsh
    Pages 1-27
  3. Derek Alsop, Chris Walsh
    Pages 28-50
  4. Derek Alsop, Chris Walsh
    Pages 51-75
  5. Derek Alsop, Chris Walsh
    Pages 76-95
  6. Derek Alsop, Chris Walsh
    Pages 96-118
  7. Derek Alsop, Chris Walsh
    Pages 163-183
  8. Derek Alsop, Chris Walsh
    Pages 184-191
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 192-223

About this book


The Practice of Reading is a lucid and lively examination of the art of interpreting the novel in the context of recent developments in literary theory and criticism. Believing that reading is - or should be - a pleasurable, creative activity, the authors analyse a range of seven novels from the eighteenth century to the present, focusing upon the experiential dimensions of the reading process. What is the role of the reader? What happens when a novel is read? How far does meaning depend on the reader, and how far on the text? These and other related questions are explored in readings of novels as diverse as Tristram Shandy, Pride and Prejudice, Great Expectations, Daniel Deronda, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Beckett's Trilogy and Possession.
In its insistence upon a return to the practice of close reading, the book represents a timely intervention in current literary debates. An accessible, informative and above all stimulating text for all university and college students of literature.


access art Beckett bibliography edition eighteenth century English literature expectation experience interpret knowledge literary theory literature novel present

About the authors

DEREK ALSOP is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at St Mary's University College, Strawberry Hill.

CHRIS WALSH is Head of English at University College Chester.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Practice of Reading
  • Book Subtitle Interpreting the Novel
  • Authors Derek Alsop
    Chris Walsh
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999
  • Publisher Name Palgrave, London
  • eBook Packages Palgrave Literature & Performing Arts Collection Literature, Cultural and Media Studies (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-333-68350-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-0-333-68351-4
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-349-27437-6
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XV, 240
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Additional Information Previously published under the imprint Palgrave
  • Topics Fiction
  • Buy this book on publisher's site