The Corrections | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 19 pages of analysis & critique of The Corrections.
This section contains 5,284 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: Wood, James. “Abhorring a Vacuum.” New Republic 225, no. 16 (15 October 2001): 32-6, 40.

In the following essay, Wood analyzes the success with which Franzen attempts to forge a new relevance for the social novel in The Corrections.

I.

If anyone still had a longing for the great American “social novel,” the events of September 11 may have corrected it, merely through the reminder of an asymmetry of their own: that whatever the novel gets up to, the “culture” can always get up to something bigger. Ashes defeat garlands. If topicality, relevance, reportage, social comment, preachy presentism, and sidewalk smarts—in sum, the contemporary American novel in its big triumphalist form—are the novel's chosen sport, then the novel will sooner or later be outrun by its own streaking material. The novel may well be, as Stendhal wrote, a mirror carried down the middle of a road, but the Stendhalian mirror would...

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This section contains 5,284 words
(approx. 18 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by James Wood
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Critical Essay by James Wood from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.