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Impressions of Theophrastus Such

Author: George Eliot; Nancy Henry
Publisher: Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, [1994]
Edition/Format:   Book : Fiction : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Impressions of Theophrastus Such, published in 1879, marks the end of George Eliot's career and the end of her life with George Henry Lewes. In many ways this fable is a final testimony to her brilliance, and yet it is puzzling that it has traditionally been judged as inferior to her other works. It remains, on the contrary, a significant reflection of her earlier works and an experiment apart from them. As Nancy  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Fiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Eliot, George, 1819-1880.
Impressions of Theophrastus Such.
Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, [1994]
(OCoLC)623809097
Material Type: Fiction, Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: George Eliot; Nancy Henry
ISBN: 0877454884 9780877454885
OCLC Number: 32211597
Description: xli, 187 pages ; 23 cm
Responsibility: George Eliot ; edited by Nancy Henry.

Abstract:

Impressions of Theophrastus Such, published in 1879, marks the end of George Eliot's career and the end of her life with George Henry Lewes. In many ways this fable is a final testimony to her brilliance, and yet it is puzzling that it has traditionally been judged as inferior to her other works. It remains, on the contrary, a significant reflection of her earlier works and an experiment apart from them. As Nancy Henry points out in her comprehensive introduction, this book goes beyond even Daniel Deronda in positing the role of collective memory in the future of national cultures and the power of literary texts in creating and preserving both. It is a complex and deeply intelligent synthesis of Eliot's previous great works as well as an interesting departure from them. It signals the culmination of her development as a writer of organic form and the beginning of what could be termed an early modernist experimentation through fragmentation of form. In eight dexterous chapters, Theophrastus reflects on the habits of his contemporaries - on their tendency to romanticize past ages, the ruthless nature of scholarly debate, the mocking of traditionally revered works of the absurdity of decadence in art, and the justification for Jewish and other modern nationalisms. As the character of Theophrastus emerges and coheres, the mature and accomplished George Eliot asks what has become of nineteenth-century English culture while speculating on how it might adapt and survive.

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