Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift

Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift ment of Tolstoy as a “monologic writer” merely because he intervenes nakedly as narrator. Narrative monologism is easy to detect, and superficial. What matters is the self-absorbed personalities of the heroes, burdened with “perspectival autonomy,” radically private and wholly uninterested in others’ truths, trapped in a world where their “errors are identified, criticized, and excused all at the same time.” Tolstoy builds in a dark place. His Anna is grimly indexed under that train even as she struggles to be free, surrounded by alternatives she cannot see. But for all the scope of Alexandrov’s “map” (he has sections on art, language, self and others, conscience, essentialism, and fate), each reader of his book will wish he had spent more time indexing her favorite heroes: in my case, Karenin and Vronsky, who merit only a few pages each and whose courage and openness to change are underappreciated. Alexandrov’s earlier work on Andrei Bely and Vladimir Nabokov, both masterful patternmakers, glints through this new book, which confirms again that a disciplined reading of Tolstoy will resist all attempts to tame his art. — Caryl Emerson doi 10.1215/0961754x-2006-040 Common KnoWLEDgE Jason Scott-Warren, Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift (Oxford: http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Common Knowledge Duke University Press

Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift

Common Knowledge, Volume 13 (1) – Jan 1, 2007

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
© 2007 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0961-754X
eISSN
0961-754X
D.O.I.
10.1215/0961754x-2006-041
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ment of Tolstoy as a “monologic writer” merely because he intervenes nakedly as narrator. Narrative monologism is easy to detect, and superficial. What matters is the self-absorbed personalities of the heroes, burdened with “perspectival autonomy,” radically private and wholly uninterested in others’ truths, trapped in a world where their “errors are identified, criticized, and excused all at the same time.” Tolstoy builds in a dark place. His Anna is grimly indexed under that train even as she struggles to be free, surrounded by alternatives she cannot see. But for all the scope of Alexandrov’s “map” (he has sections on art, language, self and others, conscience, essentialism, and fate), each reader of his book will wish he had spent more time indexing her favorite heroes: in my case, Karenin and Vronsky, who merit only a few pages each and whose courage and openness to change are underappreciated. Alexandrov’s earlier work on Andrei Bely and Vladimir Nabokov, both masterful patternmakers, glints through this new book, which confirms again that a disciplined reading of Tolstoy will resist all attempts to tame his art. — Caryl Emerson doi 10.1215/0961754x-2006-040 Common KnoWLEDgE Jason Scott-Warren, Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift (Oxford:

Journal

Common KnowledgeDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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