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Reviews of A Mirror in the Roadway


Read the Introduction to A Mirror in the Roadway at the Princeton University Press site.


Reviews of A Mirror in the Roadway


Jewish Daily Forward:
At a time when academia has been kidnapped by suffocating theories eager to take the air out of literature and put it in a straitjacket, Dickstein still reads and writes for pleasure. There are those who might ask not only why one would write literary criticism but also why one would read it. For them, the answers are in “A Mirror in the Roadway.”
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Boston Globe:
Dickstein is a supple writer, free of ideological tether. He honors through his practice what he defines as the role of the critic, which is ”not to read notionally and cleverly, and certainly not to arraign writers for their politics, but to raise ordinary reading to a higher power — to make it more insightful, more acute, without losing the vital authenticity of a deeply personal reaction.”
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New York Sun:
Few critics today are as successful as Mr. Dickstein in carrying on the work for which he praises [Irving] Howe: “to connect intimately with the literary text and make sense of it to a broader public.”
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Washington Post:
Moving from Melville to Bellow, from Wharton to Roth, Dickstein follows the novel’s progress and the trends of literary theory to show that every period produces a literature that reflects something essential about the age.
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The New Yorker:
In twenty lucid and insightful essays, Dickstein celebrates the enduring power of the novel and, in opposition to the preoccupations of poststructuralist critics, highlights its “tissue of correspondence to the real world.”
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Kirkus Reviews:
Twenty illuminating essays published over the decades on literature’s elusive, prophetic interpretations of a changing American society.
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Times Higher Education:
To make his case about how realism works in fiction, [Dickstein] elaborates on Stendhal’s famous image of the novel as “a mirror being carried along a road” – like a hand-held movie camera, it offers us constantly shifting reflections of the world, but each “shot” is subjective, too, as it must be framed by someone.
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