The 51 volumes in the "Major Literary Characters" series collect criticism available upon the most widely studied figures in world literature. For some time now, there has been an unfortunate movement in literary criticism away from the study of the character. The tides of critical fashion have resulted in assertions of the death of the author, as well as the demise of fictional personages. Literary characters have ceased to be valued as an imitation of human character. The intention of "Major Literary Characters" is to help revive our sense that literary characters, within the context of a fictive cosmos, are indeed worthy of study. By centring upon the principle personages in the changing canon of Western literature, "Major Literary Characters" engages this vital and polemical issue of critical debate. Each volume will bring together the most modern and contemporary criticism of the principal characters but will also include significant excerpts from earlier literary criticism of the same figures. Each volume includes an essay on "The Analysis of Character" and an introductory essay to the volume by Professor Bloom.
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