The Transformation of the English Novel, 1890–1930 is part of a larger critical project that I began with The Humanistic Heritage: Critical Theories of the English Novel from James to Hillis Miller (1986), in which I defined the theory and method of Anglo-American novel criticism. In my next book, Reading Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ (1987), I used the principles of what I call humanistic formalism to create a dialogue between traditional and more recent theory and, most importantly, between theory and Joyce’s great epic novel. My purpose is to reinvigorate the humanistic study of fiction by creating a dialogue between traditional and recent theory as well as between theory and texts. I have been called a progressive traditionalist and a pluralist, both of which terms I welcome. For me theory is important only when it enables us to think conceptually about how works behave and cohere and what they mean and signify.
KeywordsCritical Theory Humanistic Formalism Recent Theory Formal Presence Narrative Technique
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