By Peter Thoms
Author of such feats of storytelling as The Woman in White and The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins has traditionally been recognized far more than for his accomplishments as a serious novelist. In this study of The Moonstone, Peter Thoms argues for a new appreciation of this early master of detection and intrigue. Plotting in Collins, Thoms contends, represents much more than the skillful carpentry of the novelist: It constitutes the essential drama of the major novels themselves, as protagonists struggle for control of the stories in which they find themselves embedded.
“Mr. Thoms’ scholarly contribution is in recognizing an important constructive quality in Collins’ evident fascination with intricate and intriguing plotting. Other critics, he says, have tended to single out Collins’ plots as indications of his superficiality as a writer. Mr. Thoms’ study does, in fact, demonstrate that there is much more to Collins’ elaborate plots than the delights of suspense and detection. So his main claim is justified in that he increases our respect for the ramifications of Collins’ story-telling techniques.” –John R. Reed
The Windings of the Labyrinth asserts that the structures of Collins’s major novels possess surprising sophistication – that each of these novels elaborates a quest for identity, and that this quest for a personal story is intimately tied to the emergence of the novel’s structure. In reappraising Collins’s achievement, Thoms has written an accessible study that will be of interest no only to Victorian scholars, readers of Collins, and students of detective fiction but to anyone interested in the relationship between a novel’s plot and its meaning.
Peter Thoms teaches at both King's College and the University of Western Ontario. He is the author of The Windings of the Labyrinth: Quest and Structure in the Major Novels of Wilkie Collins (Ohio, 1992). More info →
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Release date: November 1992
House of Incest
By Anaïs Nin
· Introduction by Allison Pease
· Foreword by Gunther Stuhlmann
Originally published in 1936, House of Incest is Anaïs Nin’s first work of fiction. Based on Nin’s dreams, the novel is a surrealistic look within the narrator’s subconscious as she attempts to distance herself from a series of all-consuming and often taboo desires.
Fiction | Psychological · American Literature · Literature · Anaïs Nin
Sunrise Brighter Still
The Visionary Novels of Frank Waters
By Alexander Blackburn
· Foreword by Charles L. Adams
Novelist and critic Alexander Blackburn credits Waters’s novels such as The Man Who Killed the Deer, Pike’s Peak, People of the Valley, and The Woman at Otowi Crossing with creating a worldview that transcends modern materialism and rationalism. Central to Waters’s vision, he suggests, is the individual in whom are concentrated the creative powers of the universe.
Literature · American Literature · Literary Criticism · Western Americana
By Allen Tate
· Introduction by Arthur Mizener
The Fathers is the powerful novel by the poet and critic recognized as one of the great men of letters of our time.Old Major Buchan of Pleasant Hill, Fairfax County, Virginia, lived by a gentlemen’s agreement to ignore what was base or rude, to live a life which was gentle and comfortable because it was formal.