Skip to main content

30% Off New Releases: Explore the List

Harvard University Press - home
The Art of Telling

The Art of Telling

Essays on Fiction

Frank Kermode

ISBN 9780674048294

Publication date: 01/01/1985

Frank Kermode assesses the revolutionary transformations in literary criticism over the last fifteen years and places them in historical perspective. Examining novels ranging in scope from a 1907 bestseller to the avant-garde works of various periods, he includes such writers as Conrad, Ford Madox Ford, Michel Butor, and Thomas Pynchon.


  • It is a matter of some moment when a distinguished and dispassionate critic such as Frank Kermode…offers what he calls a ‘recuperative’ response to contemporary literary criticism… Through a careful analysis of authors ranging from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to Joseph Conrad and writers of detective fiction, he demonstrates in this book what can be gained, and what discarded, from all the fury of contemporary criticism… Here is a badly needed voice of reason.

    —Los Angeles Times Book Review


  • Sir (John) Frank Kermode was Julian Clarence Levi Professor of English Literature, Emeritus, at Columbia University and a Fellow of King’s College, University of Cambridge. He was instrumental in the 1979 founding of the London Review of Books and was knighted in 1991 for his service to literature.

Book Details

  • 240 pages
  • 5-5/16 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

From this author