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Novel history : historians and novelists confront America's past (and each other)

Author: Mark C Carnes
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, ©2001.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Historical fiction is a contradiction in terms. History is what happened; fiction, what did not. Yet great novelists have often disregarded this logical difficulty, taking up the tools of the historian to explore the shadowy recesses of the past. Their labors have brought forth many literary treasures. But how accurately do these masterpieces of the imagination reflect the past? In Novel History, twenty accomplished  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Aufsatzsammlung
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Historical fiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Novel history.
New York : Simon & Schuster, ©2001
(OCoLC)606487835
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mark C Carnes
ISBN: 0684857650 9780684857657
OCLC Number: 45413590
Description: 351 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: History as told by the devil incarnate: Gore Vidal's Burr / Joanne B. Freeman --
Burr: the historical novel / Gore Vidal --
Notes of a disillusioned lover: John Updike's Memories of the Ford administration / Paul Boyer --
Reply / John Updike --
Russell Banks's fictional portrait of John Brown / James M. McPherson --
In response to James McPherson's reading of Cloudsplitter / Russell Banks --
Why Oswald missed: Don DeLillo's Libra / David T. Courtwright --
The fictional man / Don DeLillo --
The Aztec world of Gary Jennings / Michael E. Smith --
My indignant response / Gary Jennings --
A review of Annie Dillard's The living / Richard White --
On the trail with Gus and Call: Lonesome dove and the western myth / Elliott West --
On Lonesome dove / Larry McMurtry --
Real lives and other fictions: reconsidering Wallace Stegner's Angle of repose / John Demos --
The historical imagination of A thousand acres / John Mack Faragher --
Not a pretty picture / Jane Smiley --
Commerce in souls: Uncle Tom's cabin and the state of the nation / Joan D. Hedrick --
Bodies and souls: the Haitian revolution and Madison Smartt Bell's All soul's rising / Michel-Rolph Trouillot --
Engaging the past / Madison Smartt Bell --
William Styron's The confessions of Nat Turner: a meditation on evil, redemption, and history / Eugene D. Genovese --
More confessions / William Styron. Hawthorne's cultural demons: history, popular culture, and The scarlet letter / David S. Reynolds --
The great Gatsby? Yes, a historical novel / John Lukacs --
T. Coraghessan Boyle and World's end / Michael Kammen --
History on two wheels / T.C. Boyle --
Albany the wondrous: William Kennedy's history in Quinn's book / Mark C. Carnes --
Quinn's book: looking for the buried myth / William Kennedy --
White men in Africa: on Barbara Kingsolver's The poisonwood bible / Diane Kunz --
A war like all wars / Tom Wicker --
Some remarks on history and fiction / Charles Frazier --
An essay by (historian) Thomas Fleming on Time and tide / (novelist) Thomas Fleming --
(novelist) Thomas Fleming responds --
Kicking the denial syndrome: Tim O'Brien's In the lake of the woods / H. Bruce Franklin --
The whole story / Tim O'Brien.
Responsibility: Mark C. Carnes, editor.
More information:

Abstract:

Historical fiction is a contradiction in terms. History is what happened; fiction, what did not. Yet great novelists have often disregarded this logical difficulty, taking up the tools of the historian to explore the shadowy recesses of the past. Their labors have brought forth many literary treasures. But how accurately do these masterpieces of the imagination reflect the past? In Novel History, twenty accomplished historians consider this question in relation to some of our most important historical novels. Their essays are followed in most instances by a response from the novelist. These dialogues illuminate one of the most fascinating and perplexing issues of our time -- the relation between the "real" past and our finest imaginative renderings of it. Novel History includes essays by distinguished historians such as John Demos, Michael Kammen, Joan D. Hedrick, John Lukacs, Eugene D. Genovese, Richard White, and Tom Wicker, and responses from notable novelists, including Gore Vidal, John Updike, Russell Banks, Don DeLillo, Larry McMurtry, Jane Smiley, Madison Smartt Bell, William Styron, T. Coraghessan Boyle, William Kennedy, Charles Frazier, Thomas Fleming, and Tim O'Brien. Novel History is both a uniquely compelling perspective and superb collection of literary history.

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