ment of Tolstoy as a âmonologic writerâ 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 âperspectival autonomy,â radically private and wholly uninterested in othersâ truths, trapped in a world where their âerrors are identified, criticized, and excused all at the same time.â 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 Alexandrovâs âmapâ (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. Alexandrovâs 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. â Caryl Emerson doi 10.1215/0961754x-2006-040 Common KnoWLEDgE Jason Scott-Warren, Sir John Harington and the Book as Gift (Oxford:
Common Knowledge – Duke University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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