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Literature, Readers and Dialogue

Essays by and in Reply to Douglas Jefferson

This collection of essays by Douglas Jefferson from various periods of his distinguished career and by fellow academics writing in response to his work represents a novel dialogic form of literary criticism. In his essays ranging from Shakespeare’s "Hamlet" to the "Canon", Jefferson is always stimulating and engaging, while offering nuanced and informed readings of his chosen texts. Replying to Jefferson’s work, contemporary critics have variously extended his ideas, disclosing new ways of reading texts in the light of current debate and more theoretical developments, or have adopted a more discursive strategy in using ideas derived from Jefferson’s essays to provoke further explorations. Douglas Jefferson (1912-2001) spent virtually his entire academic life at the University of Leeds, starting as an undergraduate in the School of English in 1930, and interrupted only by his studies at the University of Oxford (Merton College), where he gained a B.Litt in 1937, and his educational services in Egypt during the Second World War.His was a career remarkable for distinguished service to his profession, comprising not only an extensive range of publications on writers from John Dryden to Iris Murdoch but in the care with which he nurtured and encouraged generations of students and colleagues both at home and abroad in the study of English literature.

© 2006

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Table of Contents

Janet Clare and Veronica O’Mara, Introduction Douglas Jefferson, Some Impressions of Hamlet Janet Clare and Raymond Hargreaves, Hamlet and the Theatre of the Mind Douglas Jefferson, Paradise Lost Today Graham Parry, Jefferson’s Milton Douglas Jefferson, The Significance of Dryden’s Heroic Plays Derek Hughes, The Significance of Dryden’s Heroic Plays - A Response Douglas Jefferson, Tristram Shandy and the Tradition of Learned Wit David Fairer, Sterne, Sensibility and ’Learned Wit’ Douglas Jefferson, The Economy of the Novel - Reflections on Mansfield Park Colin Winborn, Jane Austen’s Art of Containment Douglas Jefferson, Irresistible Narrative - The Art of Wuthering Heights Inga-Stina Ewbank, (Ir)resistible Criticism Douglas Jefferson, Huckleberry Finn Ron Callan, Narrative Illusion - Huckleberry Finn Douglas Jefferson, The Golden Bowl - Some Misgivings Andrew Taylor,. ’A Matter Of Words’ - Henry James and The Golden Bowl Douglas Jefferson, The Canon Declan Kiberd, Towards a Multicultural Canon? Index.

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