American Modernist Fiction: Psychoanalytic Recitations of Identity addresses five American Modernist novels in light of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory: Nathanael West's Miss Lonelyhearts, Kay Boyle's Process, Djuna Barnes's Nightwood, Thornton Wilder's The Cabala, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night. Dolis's dynamic readings constitute a spirited "performance" of the narrative, deploying his own innovative form of literary analysis, what he calls "performance criticism". These psychoanalytic studies simultaneously stage the narrative and re-enact its putative significance, provoke and question its intent, thereby establishing a dialectics of desire—what both affects the body of the narrative and, equally, the critic's subjectivity.
John Dolis is professor emeritus of English and American Studies at Penn State University, Scranton.
Introduction: Apéritif: Performance Criticism, Revisited
Chapter 1: Amuse-bouche: Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts
Chapter 2: Entrée: Kay Boyle, Process
Chapter 3: Plat principal: Djuna Barnes, Nightwood
Chapter 4: Dessert: Thornton Wilder, The Cabala
Chapter 5: Digestif: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tender Is the Night
About the Author