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Classics of modern fiction; eight short novels.

Author: Irving Howe
Publisher: New York, Harcourt, Brace & World [1968]
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Notes from the Underground: Semi-autobiographical account of a young man who spurns the rule of God and man and faces the problems inherent in denying authority while needing to explain order.
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Genre/Form: Fiction
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Howe, Irving.
Classics of modern fiction.
New York, Harcourt, Brace & World [1968]
(OCoLC)591902984
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Irving Howe
ISBN: 0155076434 9780155076433
OCLC Number: 438369
Description: xii, 563 pages 22 cm
Contents: Notes from underground, by F. Dostoevsky.--The death of Ivan Ilych, by L. Tolstoy.--A simple heart, by G. Flaubert.--The pupil, by H. James.--The secret sharer, by J. Conrad.--Death in Venice, by T. Mann.--The metamorphosis, by F. Kafka.--Seize the day, by S. Bellow.
Responsibility: Edited by Irving Howe.

Abstract:

Notes from the Underground: Semi-autobiographical account of a young man who spurns the rule of God and man and faces the problems inherent in denying authority while needing to explain order.

Death of Ivan Illyach: Takes us on the final journey towards death with Ivan Ilych, a high court judge in the Russian provinces, who, falling victim to an incurable illness, ponders his own life -- its shallowness and lack of compassion, wondering what is the meaning of it all. The novel raises questions about the way we live and how we should strive even at the end to seek final redemption.

A Simple Heart is a story of a French housemaid in the mid-1800s who embraces life in spite of her harsh circumstances. With faith and an inner strength, she endures a wretched childhood, a failed love, the tragic death of a nephew, and the loss of her beloved pet bird. Her end is sad, yet dignified.

The Pupil portrays the pretentions of a would be aristocratic family by exposing them to us through the eyes of both their perceptively sensistive son and his tutor.

The secret sharer is a story of a young, inexperienced sea captain who is faced with the responsibility of command and struggling to come to terms with self-doubt and anxiety. His growth in self-knowledge and command of himself and of his ship is portrayed by an encounter with murder, secrecy, and his choice to conceal a spectral fugitive from naval justice. - a secret sharer - aboard his ship. This tale draws on actual events and people that Conrad met or heard about during his many far-flung travels. In portraying men whose incredible journeys on land and at sea are also symbolic voyages into their own mysterious depths, this tale contributes to Conrad's acclaim as a major psychological writer.

Death in Venice describes the grandeur and shabbiness of Venice in the grip of disease. Portrays the moral and physical degeneration of Aschenbach, the writer whose obsessive and self-devouring pursuit of beauty in the form of the boy Tadzio leads him to humiliation and death.

In The Metamorphosis, Gregor Samsa, a seemingly typical man who works as a traveling salesman, wakes up one morning to discover he has been transformed into a gigantic insect. Frustrated and depressed about his physical alteration and his family's rejection, Samsa's plight is filled with underlying meaning. This important literary work, written against the backdrop of increasing turmoil in central Europe, remains not just an extraordinary tale of imagination, but also a disturbing allegory.

In Seize the Day Tommy Wilhelm's life is falling apart. He's quit his job and can't find other work, his marriage has failed, his investments have gone sour, he trusts the wrong people with the little money he has left, and he's rejected by his own father. Quite simply, Tommy is a portrait of failure. Tommy gets some needed kindness from Doc, a practitioner who seems sympathetic towards him, but who actually has ulterior motives for his friendliness.

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