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Tarr (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – September 30, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0199567201 ISBN-10: 0199567204

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford World's Classics
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (September 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199567204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199567201
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #338,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This is a valuable edition. William Baker, Years Work in English Studies

About the Author


Scott W. Klein is Associate Professor of English at Wake Forest University.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Moses on October 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tarr is a novel I enjoyed from start to finish. Written in the era of the polite avant-garde social activism exemplified by Bloomsbury, Lewis' most well-known novel is none of those things. It could logically be argued that Tarr is mean-spirited, but I prefer to think of it as a Nietzschean parody.

The titular character is an obvious stand-in for Lewis, being both intelligent, unique, and openly disdainful of the Parisian bohemians that surround him. A common complaint about the novel is that "nothing happens," and that isn't entirely wrong. Tarr is intelligent and charismatic, but he is simultaneously utterly ineffective. His flaw is the flaw of Hamlet - he is indecisive, non-committal, and under-motivated.
Tarr is more relevant now than ever. It is a commentary on the disillusion of the young bourgeois - the inevitable breakdown of segments of society after generations of materialism. It's also quite funny, easy to read, and occasionally rather vulgar. I recommend it.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Waddell on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Ever since Paul O'Keeffe published his edition of the 1918 version (Black Sparrow Press, 1996) of Wyndham Lewis's novel 'Tarr' the scholarly community has been in need of a scholarly edition of Lewis's 1928 rewrite of the same novel.

Scott Klein's edition for OUP's World's Classics series answers that demand in fine style. An extensive and illuminating editorial introduction frames what is a comprehensively annotated and explicated version of a text that to date has only been available as an unedited Penguin text (besides its original publication by Chatto and Windus).

Without doubt required reading for Lewis enthusiasts, but more importantly, as Klein suggests here, for general readers too. By reading one of Lewis's most experimental contributions to the novel form, new and old Lewisians alike necessarily will gain a greater understanding of the modernist novel as a whole.
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22 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Shawn C. Standiford on November 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book because an English major friend of mine said it was the most difficult book she ever read. I agree, but its difficulty lies not in any depth of thought or high artistic value; rather, this is an exhausting, dull read and I quickly grew to hate the characters and the author's writing style.

I read somewhere that it is a grave mistake to use foreign language phrases more than once or twice in an English language text. Perhaps it was in Strunk and White's "The Elements of Style". I wonder if they were speaking specifically of this book. On an average of once per page there is a German, Latin, or French phrase inserted in a dialogue or, even worse, the narration, and it isn't like these phrases are well known. The sole purpose of these, in my opinion, is to further obfuscate a work that is already so desperately trying to be well-known for it's complications.

As for the characters, I'm not asking that an author make any of their creations lovable, sympathetic, redeemable people. But the self absorption and self-importance of these pathetically deluded people was not only obviously contrived but ultimately served no real purpose.

Do yourself a favor. Avoid this book. If you want to read a writer that willfully but highly successfully buries the meaning of his writing under layers and layers of abstraction, pick up the works of Dylan Thomas and let the enigmatic beauties of his poems unlock themselves for you at the most inopportune times.
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