Monday, July 12, 2010

Why Hyphenated-American Fiction Is Better

Rod Dreher quotes Ross Douthat on the modern American "absence of the kind of social limitations on private conduct that generate most of the dramatic tension in 'Middlemarch,' or 'Jude the Obscure,' or 'Madame Bovary,' or basically every single book that Henry James ever wrote" — Cultural limits and good fiction. "It's not surprising, then, that the place where the family novel still flourishes is in the literature of Asian and African diasporas, where characters always have at least one foot in a social world that's more restrictive, and thus more likely to generate the kind of personal dilemmas that dominated Victorian fiction."

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.