A consummate portrait of vanity and egoism
Virginia Woolf said of "The Egoist": 'Meredith pays us a supreme compliment to which as novel-readers we are little accustomed ... He imagines us capable of disinterested curiosity in the behaviour of our kind.'
In this, the most dazzlingly intellectual of all his novels, Meredith tries to illuminate the pretensions of the most powerful class within the very citadel of security which its members have built. He develops to their logical extremity his ideas on egoism, on sentimentality and on the power of comedy. Meredith saw egoism as the great enemy of truth, feeling and progress, and comedy as the great dissolver of artifice.
"The Egoist" is the extreme expression of his recurrent theme: the defeat of egoism by the power of comedy.
This edition of Meredith's satirical novel of manners reprints the text of 1897, which incorporated Meredith's revisions to the first edition of 1879.
The editor has corrected some errors which escaped Meredith's attention and has provided exceptionally useful notes on the novel.
"Backgrounds" includes Meredith's "Essay on Comedy and the Uses of the Comic Spirit."
"The Critical Essays" are by Robert D. Mayo, Richard B. Hudson, Jenni Calder, Gillian Beer, John Goode, Charles J. Hill, Michael Sundell, Virginia Woolf, John Lucas, and Robert M. Adams.
A Bibliography is also included.
The Text of The Egoist
1. Textual Notes
1. George Meredith, An Essay on Comedy and the Uses of the Comic Spirit
2. George Meredith, The Star Sirius
1. Robert D. Mayo, The Meaning of Egoism in George Meredith’s The Egoist
2. Jenni Calder, The Insurrection of Women
3. Gillian Beer, The Two Masks and the Idea of Comedy
4. John Goode, The Egoist: Anatomy or Striptease?
5. Charles J. Hill, Theme and Image in The Egoist
6. Michael Sundell, The Functions of Flitch in The Egoist
7. Virginia Woolf, The Novels of George Meredith
8. John Lucas, Meredith’s Reputation
9. Robert M. Adams, A Counter Kind of Book
Series: Norton Critical Editions
Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 576
Published: 17th January 1979
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 13.34
Weight (kg): 0.61
Edition Number: 1