Catalogue


Reading alcoholisms : theorizing character and narrative in selected novels of Thomas Hardy, James Joyce, and Virginia Woolf /
Jane Lilienfeld.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
description
xii, 292 p.
ISBN
0312217099 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1999.
isbn
0312217099 (cloth)
general note
Grey cloth boards lettered in silver. White illustrated dust jacket printed in burgundy, grey and black.
local note
Victoria University Library Woolf Collection copy has dust jacket.
catalogue key
2919037
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-01-01:
Those who think that applying substance abuse theory to "great works" is too clinical or philistine should reconsider. Lilienfeld (Lincoln Univ.) tests the reader's risk-tolerance and proves that one of the pleasures of texts is how they can exploit grand narrative architectures for real and therapeutic commentary on life. Lilienfeld brilliantly applies deep reading in all the "biopsychosocial" fields relating to addiction and in literary theory to three hallowed, canonical literary texts: Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge, Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and Woolf's To the Lighthouse. The resulting analyses (carefully crafted enough to carry the reader past some stretches of bad editing) integrate themes of class, gender, and cultural difference. Starting from the controversial argument that Hardy's novel is explicitly about alcohol, Lilienfeld suggests that Joyce's is too, though constructed with an evasion so deliberate as to invent a modernist discourse of denial. She then demonstrates that Woolf's novel (on which she is an authority) offers a "polyvocal" correlative for the systemic politics of entire families trapped in pathologies of abuse. This study has something to teach everyone about the way both fiction and addiction work. Including inobtrusive discursive endnotes and a rich bibliography; for college and university collections supporting literature, substance abuse, and cultural studies programs. F. Alaya; emeritus, Ramapo College of New Jersey
Appeared in Library Journal on 1999-09-01:
In three essays, Lilienfeld (English, Lincoln Univ.) uses the techniques of literary criticism and the sociology of addiction to study three modern writers. Thomas Hardy was raised in a hard-drinking rural culture and wrote explicitly about it in The Mayor of Casterbridge. In James Joyce's semi-autobiographical A Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man, Joyce's alcoholic father, John Joyce, who drank away the family's fortunes, appears as Simon Dedalus. Lilienfeld postulates that the Joyce family's strategies for dealing with John Joyce, which were similar to those of other alcoholics' families, are responsible for the famously elliptical plot of Portrait. However, she does not deal with James Joyce's own alcoholism. The weakest of the essays covers Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse; the only addiction seems to be Woolf's grandmother's possible addiction to morphine and the codependent personality it created in Woolf's mother. All of the essays require close familiarity with both the critical literature of the author and the literature of addiction and codependence. For specialized collections.ÄShelley Cox, Southern Illinois Univ., Carbondale (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
If alcoholism theory is not yet considered an accepted discourse in literary scholarship, it may well become one after this book.... Harvard Review
If alcoholism theory is not yet considered an accepted discourse in literary scholarship, it may well become one after this book....Harvard Review
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, September 1999
Choice, January 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Description for Bookstore
WithReading Alcoholisms,Jane Lilienfeld has produced a ground-breaking cross-disciplinary study using the social, psychological, and scientific literature on alcoholism and family alcoholism to examine the novels of Hardy, Joyce, and Woolf. Each of these authors was directly affected by the alcoholism of a family member or mentor, and Lilienfeld shows how the effects of alcoholism organized their texts: through the portrayal of a protagonist inThe Mayor of Casterbridge,through the denial of parental alcoholism and its silent presence inA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,and through codependent reactive patterns of Mrs. and Mr. Ramsay inTo the Lighthouse.With the remarkable empathy Lilienfeld has for human dimensions of alcoholism, she demonstrates that "the narrative strategies in each of these novels at times mimic the behaviors and feeling states often arising from alcoholism." Without an understanding of the multidimensional nature of alcoholism and the transmission of its effects across generations, any analysis of the work of these three literary giants is incomplete.
Main Description
With Reading Alcoholisms, Jane Lilienfeld has produced a ground-breaking cross-disciplinary study using the social, psychological, and scientific literature on alcoholism and family alcoholism to examine the novels of Hardy, Joyce, and Woolf. Each of these authors was directly affected by the alcoholism of a family member or mentor, and Lilienfeld shows how the effects of alcoholism organized their texts: through the portrayal of a protagonist in The Mayor of Casterbridge, through the denial of parental alcoholism and its silent presence in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, and through codependent reactive patterns of Mrs. and Mr. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse. With the remarkable empathy Lilienfeld has for human dimensions of alcoholism, she demonstrates that "the narrative strategies in each of these novels at times mimic the behaviors and feeling states often arising from alcoholism." Without an understanding of the multidimensional nature of alcoholism and the transmission of its effects across generations, any analysis of the work of these three literary giants is incomplete.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
"An Altar to Disease in Years Gone By": Alcoholism in The Mayor of Casterbridgep. 13
The "Great Stone Jar": The Art of Escape in James Joyce's A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Manp. 85
"The Horrors of Family Life": A Feminist Interrogation of the Politics of Codependence in To the Lighthousep. 159
Epiloguep. 233
Notesp. 239
Works Citedp. 257
Indexp. 281
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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