In “Narrate or Describe?” (1936), Georg Lukács codified the aesthetic superiority of narration to description. Current debates around descriptive approaches in literary studies reprise this binary in a critical register, valorizing interpretation over description (or, less frequently, vice versa). Beginning with a reconsideration of Lukács’s essay, I propose the inevitable interdependence of interpretation and description. Brief readings of technical language in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road (2006) and intertextuality in Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? (2012) exemplify that interdependence.
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