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Reviews

"In this humane, eloquent book, Wright shows twenty-first-century readers all the good that bad logic does in nineteenth-century fiction. As he tracks the Victorians’ surprising readiness to make erotic desire an object for the reasoning mind, he transforms prevailing accounts of the novel’s achievement and makes familiar texts new again."

"Fascinated by our longing to make desire intelligible—our drive to find for the erotic a form faithful to its wayward energies—Danny Wright finds provocation equally from Victorian novelists, logicians, and queer theorists. A surprising and entirely individual book, lucid and large-hearted."

"A wonderful book that ably pulls together ordinary language philosophy and novel theory, Bad Logic is a powerful intervention into a number of current debates in Victorian studies. Lucidly and persuasively written, it is a model of responsible criticism. I recommend it wholeheartedly."

"As it offers superb analyses of novels by Brontë, Eliot, Trollope, Wilde, James, and others, Bad Logic sees literary indices of logical limit as revealing both the extraordinary at the heart of ordinary language and how ineluctably particular ways of talking and loving are met 'with perplexity' simply 'because we haven’t worked out what we say about this particular unforeseen reality yet.' This is a terrific book."

"Wright’s inventive claim is that logic is not desire’s bad other but its necessary bedfellow, a language for making the erotic answerable to the complexities of the everyday. Bad Logic is a striking contribution to the history of the realist novel and a compelling account of that genre’s philosophical importance."

"It is this attention to erotic energies and their struggle for articulacy that makes Bad Logic such a compelling intervention into a number of current debates in Victorian studies, and a striking declaration of fiction's wider philosophical exigency."

"Deploying a confident command of philosophical logic alongside an ear well attuned to moments of textual vulnerability, Wright offers a compelling account of the ways we twist the language of reason when "we're called up to make our erotic impulses intelligible to others or to ourselves"... Bad Logic is, at its core, a book of deep generosity. Where I had often seen stammer and bluster, or overly pat aphorism, Wright hears searching, and sacred, attempts to communicate. Beyond just offering readings, Bad Logic teaches how to listen... Bad Logic has given me a vocabulary for describing the ways in which the language of novels work when they are at their most tenuous and vulnerable."