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Author Faller, Lincoln B.
Title Crime and Defoe : a new kind of writing / Lincoln B. Faller.
Imprint Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1993.

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Author Faller, Lincoln B.
Series Cambridge studies in eighteenth-century English literature and thought ; 16
Cambridge studies in eighteenth-century English literature and thought ; 16.
Subject Defoe, Daniel, 1661?-1731 -- Criticism and interpretation.
Crime -- England -- History -- 18th century -- Historiography.
Criminals -- Biography -- History and criticism.
Social problems in literature.
Criminals in literature.
Crime in literature.
Add Title Crime & Defoe
Description 1 online resource (xix, 263 pages).
polychrome rdacc
Summary This book seeks to recover something of the original excitement, challenge, and significance of Defoe's four novels of criminal life by reading them within and against the conventions of early eighteenth-century criminal biography. Crime raised deeply troubling questions in Defoe's time, not least because it seemed a powerful sign of the breakdown of traditional social authority and order. Arguing that Defoe's novels provided ways of facing working through, as well as avoiding, certain of the moral and intellectual difficulties that crime raised for him and his readers, Faller shows how the "literary," even "aesthetic" qualities of his fiction contributed to these ends. Analyzing the various ways in which Defoe's novels exploited, deformed, and departed from the genre they imitate, this book attempts to define the specific social and political (which is to say moral and ideological) value of a given set of "literary" texts against those of a more "ordinary" form of narrative.
Moll Flanders, Colonel Jack, and Roxana are given extended readings in individual chapters. Other topics considered at length include the vexed question of Defoe's realism, his own version of reader response theory and how he deploys it, the novels' structural imitation of providential design, and his recurrent, almost obsessive effort to blunt or deny the commonly held notion that trade was somehow equivalent to theft.
Bibliography Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents 1. Romancing the real: the "field" of criminal biography -- 2. Defoe's realism: rough frames, strange voices, surprisingly various subjects and readers made more present to themselves -- 3. The copious text: opening the door to inference, or, room for those who know how to read it -- 4. Intimations of an invisible hand: the mind exercised, enlarged, and kept in play by strange concurrences -- 5. The general scandal upon business: unanswerable doubts, and the text as a field supporting very nice distinctions -- 6. The frontiers of dishonesty, the addition and concurrence of circumstances: more on the strategic situating of names -- 7. Notions different from all the world: criminal stupidity, the self and the symbolic order -- Closing comments: truth, complexity, common sense, and empty spaces.
Note Print version record.
ISBN 0521420865 (hardback)
9780521420860 (hardback)
0521060338 (pbk.)
9780521060332 (pbk.)
OCLC # 558424592
Additional Format Print version: Faller, Lincoln B. Crime and Defoe. Cambridge [England] ; New York, NY, USA : Cambridge University Press, 1993 0521420865 (DLC) 92017642 (OCoLC)25915209