- BALASSA, Péter: Transfiguration of the Novel
- Übersetzt von: H. Paul Olchváry
- Verlag: AKADÉMIAI Kiadó Rt.
- Veröffentlichungsjahr: 1999
- Nummer von Seiten: 176
- Sprache: English
- Studies in Modern Philology, 14
- "This study has a twofold aim," reads the opening of this book: "to analyze Flaubert's novel as a turning point in the genre, while charting the methods and techniques of novelistic interpretation." Central to this study is the notion that L'Education sentimentale masterfully embodied what was to become a
central feature of literary modernism, the displacement of the traditional hero and conventional novel-structure by time, by "the principle of pure succession" as grand ideals were perceived as vacuous in the wake of disillusioning historical experiences such as those of 1848. Flaubert emancipated the genre from "the shackles of convention," even while heeding - or appearing to heed - convention.
Péter Balassa's study is both a brilliant analysis of Flaubert's novel and an uncompromising assessment of the opportunities and limitations of Marxist aesthetics as interpreted by a former teacher of his, György (Georg) Lukács.
By facing off this theoretical paradigm with the achievements of modern literary scholarship - for example, Russian formalism, East European schools of linguistics, and French structuralism - Balassa proposes new methods of analysing works and of context analysis, in which Marxist-Lukácsian aesthetics is
gradually relegated to the background. The philosophical-aesthetic paradigm that integrates these various modern critical approaches is German and Euro-American
hermeneutics, which ultimately opens the door to the radical hermeneutics of the ‘open work' (a la Umberto Eco) and of the deconstructionists.