Cover: Circles without Center: Paths to the Discovery and Creation of Self in Modern Literature, from Harvard University PressCover: Circles without Center in E-DITION

Circles without Center

Paths to the Discovery and Creation of Self in Modern Literature

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details


$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674281585

Publication Date: 01/01/1972

170 pages


Related Subjects

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

The author of this sensitive and probing study explores the paths to the discovery of self taken by some major modern authors: Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, William Faulkner, André Gide, James Joyce, Luigi Pirandello, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Paul Valery. He discusses both solitude (man’s retreat into his mind) and togetherness (man’s need for a second person). He looks, too, at the phenomenon of constant change that defiantly challenges any static definition of self. He then focuses on the role of myth, the use of masks, the expressive qualities of literary form, and the significance of symbols. Particularly evident among the symbols employed by the various authors and explicated by Enrico Garzilli are the labyrinth—through which man wanders and which is, simultaneously, within man—and circles—concentric and interconnecting in such a way that the ultimate center is always elusive. In conclusion, he relates his insights to the Gospel of John, “In the beginning was the Word.”

Recent News

From Our Blog

Photo of Lucia Jacobs as a child sitting next to Oaky

How to Plant a Forest

For this week’s University Press Week Blog Tour, Lucia Jacobs offers us a glimpse of environmental stewardship as seen through the activities of the ubiquitous squirrel, a species native to the Americas, Africa, and Eurasia from the Eocene Epoch onward. Lucia Jacobs is Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.