Hilary's Reviews > The Poetics of Prose

The Poetics of Prose by Tzvetan Todorov
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's review
Mar 23, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: grad-class

Well, this made me hit a snag in terms of "ooh, I love academic reading! Maybe exams won't be so bad!"

There were a couple of things that I got from this--but a "couple of things" out of 230+ pages isn't enough. The problem, however, is more with where Todorov is coming from--he's a semiotics/linguist, so he takes concepts from that an applies them to literature, which, like, is interesting, but not what I am into at all. That he's coming from this background also makes slogging through it exactly that: it's dense and verbose. (This could be the translation, to be fair.) He also uses very specific texts--Decameron, The Holy Grail narrative, Henry James, etc.--as his corpus, which is fine; all academics/critics reference particular pieces to make their points. However, what this guy fails to do is take those specifics and make them general. Sure, he talks about genre somewhat (what IS it with these narrative guys and the detective fiction?), but his claims aren't quite universal enough to really be helpful, save a few. Wah wah.

Well, another day, another book.

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message 1: by Manali (new) - added it

Manali i wanted to read this book but can't able to get this... please help me with this

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