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March 1977
240 pages  

6 x 9
9780822984597
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The Hole in the Fabric
Science, Contemporary Literature, and Henry James
Purdy, Strother
Purdy draws on the work of Kurt Vonnegut, Vladimir Nabokov, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Günter Grass, Samuel Becket, and Eugene Ionesco to examine ways in which novelists explore the unknown. He considers Henry James in conjunction with these novelists, and with scientific discoveries and advances—black holes, hydrogen bombs, space travel—to offer new insights into James’s work and into the twentieth-century view of humanity’s place in the world.

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Strother B. Purdy is professor emeritus of English at Marquette University.
“The most ambitious book dealing with James. . . . It is rich and ranging, and places James in the thrilling, sometimes depressing context of modern science.”—American Literary Scholarship

“Always stimulating and fresh.”—Choice

“Highly creative and useful. . . . Well thought out and well written. The thesis is intriguing and the examples apt and illuminating. One can learn a lot about science, about literature, and about the bond between them.”—Southern Humanities Review

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In this imaginative and provocative book, Purdy draws upon the work of a such writers as Kurt Vonnegut, Vladimir Nabokov, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Günter Grass, Samuel Becket, and Eugene Ionesco to suggest ways in which novelists explore the unknown. His ingenious consideration of Henry James in conjunction with these novelists, as well as with science fiction and detective fiction writers and with mid-century scientific discoveries and advances—black holes, hydrogen bombs, space travel—offers rich, new insights into James’s work and into the twentieth-century view of humanity’s place in the world.
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