Flawed Texts and Verbal Icons

Paper Text – $19.95

ISBN 978-0-8101-0667-3
Publication Date
January 1996
Page Count
249 pages
Trim Size
6 x 9

Flawed Texts and Verbal Icons

Literary Authority and American Fiction
Hershel Parker

An evaluation of the importance of textual criticism in evaluation of important literary works, based on his study of important American literary works by authors such as James, Crane, and Mailer.
About the Author

Hershel Parker is H. Fletcher Brown Professor of American Romanticism at the University of Delaware and Associate General Editor of the Northwestern-Newberry Edition of The Writings of Herman Melville. He is editor of several collections on Melville, including collaborations with Harrison Hayford on the Norton Critical Edition of Moby-Dick and Norton "Moby-Dick" as Dubloon and with Brian Higgins on the G. K. Hall Critical Essays on Hermann Melville's "Pierre" and Critical Essays on Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick," and is also editor of the 1820-65 section in the Norton Anthology of American Literature. His Flawed Texts and Verbal Icons: Literary Authority in American Fiction was published in 1984 by Northwestern University Press.
"Flawed Texts & Verbal Icons is a passionate, unsparing, brilliant, and witty bok. Above all, it is an important book--a principled manifesto whose implications are revolutionary not just for textual scholars or for critics of American fiction but for the entire field of literary study. Henceforth, critics who overlook or lightly dismiss Hershel Parker's argument will do so at their peril." --Frederick Crews
"Flawed Texts & Verbal Icons is wonderfully written and absolutely captivating. I look forward to the reviews; it should certainly stir things up." --Stanley Fish

"An important and comprehensively subversive book. Parker's intensive investigations of the perilous and sometimes disastrous textual histories of American novels—many of them victimized by their own authors—provide the basis for a tough-minded and zestfully combatitve attack on major aspects of modern editorial theory and practice on current critical assumptions about the 'authorless text.'"

—Michael Millgate, University of Toronto