Object Lessons: The Novel as a Theory of Reference
A major contribution to the theory of realism, Jami Bartlett's book analyzes the processes by which literary language renders objects as real entities. Bartlett's approach is to apply theories of reference in the philosophy of language to interactions between characters and objects in nineteenth-century literature. She addresses a fundamental question of literary realism--how can language evoke that which is not language?--and the ways in which four key English authors answered that question. George Meredith, William Makepeace Thackeray, Elizabeth Gaskell, and Iris Murdoch probe the relationship between words and objects, and provide--in their descriptions, characterizations, and plots--allegories of language use. Bartlett shows, for example, how the daydreamers of Gaskell's novel Cranford confronted with objects that they will never have access to and lives they will never lead, build semantic associations between familiar and unfamiliar objects that enable them to understand references that they wouldn't otherwise. Concise and clearly written, Object Lessons is destined to become a key work in theory of the novel.
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abstraction aesthetic analytic analytic philosophy Anscombe Anscombe’s argues argument ball Barry Lyndon Barry’s chapter character Clara concepts Cranford criteria definite descriptions describe descriptions of intentional Dickens Dickens’s Egoist Elizabeth Anscombe ethical Evans’s exist experience expression fiction Freeny Freeny’s Frege G. E. M. Anscombe Gareth Evans George Meredith gesture grasping Hugo Hugo’s Ibid idea intentional action interpretation Iris Murdoch Jake Jake’s John Searle kind Laetitia logical look meaning Meredith Meredith’s descriptions Merleau-Ponty Metaphysics moral narration narrative Nora novel paraphrase particular perception Phenomenology philosophy of language Pip’s plot position predicated problem proper name proposition Quin readers referential relation representation Russell Russell’s Scarry Searle semantic sense singular terms space structure Thackeray’s theory of descriptions theory of reference thought throwing tion understanding Varieties of Reference W. V. O. Quine William Makepeace Thackeray Willoughby Wittgenstein words writes