'Social Visions is concerned with the ways novelists deal with issues of society and politics. It is an attempt to restore the political dimensions to the reading of both 'classic' and contemporary authors and to explore the formal strategies evolved by writers committed to a vision of society. The social role of literary criticism, as institutionalized by the educational apparatus, has been to absorb literary works into the dominant ideology, to reconstitute by 'interpretation' these works' components into forms expressing, or not disturbing, the dominant ideology ; and to exclude from the accepted canon of 'texts' works that cannot be so absorbed. A radical criticism has as its task the undoing of this false structure by reemphasising the problematic socio-political features of works accorded classic status, and by restoring excluded works to attention, opening up the area of discourse of literary studies.' - Author's comments from Preface.