The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending : Studies in the Theory of Fiction

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Frank Kermode is one of our most distinguished and beloved critics of English literature. Here, he contributes a new epilogue to his collection of classic lectures on the relationship of fiction to age-old concepts of apocalyptic chaos and crisis. Prompted by the approach of the millennium, he revisits the book which brings his highly concentrated insights to bear on some of the most unyielding philosophical and aesthetic enigmas. Examining the works of writers from Plato to William Burroughs, Kermode shows how they have persistently imposed their "fictions" upon the face of eternity and how these have reflected the apocalyptic spirit. Kermode then discusses literature at a time when new fictive explanations, as used by Spenser and Shakespeare, were being devised to fit a world of uncertain beginning and end. He goes on to deal perceptively with modern literature - with "traditionalists" such as Yeats, Eliot, and Joyce, as well as contemporary "schismatics," the French "new novelists," and such seminal figures as Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett. Whether weighing the difference between modern and earlier modes of apocalyptic thought, considering the degeneration of fiction into myth, or commenting on the vogue of the Absurd, Kermode is distinctly lucid, persuasive, witty, and prodigal of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 140 x 212 x 20mm | 299.37g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 0195136128
  • 9780195136128
  • 53,877

Review quote

"An impressively learned, eloquent, and brilliant defense of a non-schismatic view of human time."--Leo Bersani, The New York Times"A packed, original, highly stimulating book,"--David Lodgeshow more

About Frank Kermode

Frank Kermode was formerly King Edward VII Professor of English Literature, Cambridge more

Table of contents

1. The End ; 2. Fictions ; 3. World without end or beginning ; 4. The modern apocalypse ; 5. Literary fiction and reality ; 6. Solitary confinement ; Epilogue: The Sense of an Ending, 1999 ; Notesshow more

Rating details

491 ratings
3.96 out of 5 stars
5 33% (163)
4 40% (196)
3 19% (95)
2 5% (25)
1 2% (12)
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