Finding Oz tells the remarkable story behind one of the world’s most enduring and best-loved books. Offering profound new insights into the true origins and meaning of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 masterwork, it delves into the personal turmoil and spiritual transformation that fueled Baum’s fantastical parable of the American Dream. Before becoming an impresario of children’s adventure tales, the J. K. Rowling of his age, Baum failed at a series of careers and nearly lost his soul before setting out (...) on a journey of discovery that would lead to the Land of Oz. Drawing on original research, Evan Schwartz debunks popular misconceptions and shows how the people, places, and events in Baum’s life gave birth to his unforgettable images and characters, from the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City to the dual view of witches that reflected the life of Baum’s mother-in-law, the radical women’s rights leader Matilda Joslyn Gage. A narrative that sweeps across late-nineteenth-century America, Finding Oz ultimately reveals how failure and heartbreak can sometimes lead to redemption and bliss, and how one individual can ignite the imagination of the entire world. (shrink)
Sleepy Hollow : fearful pleasures and the nightmare of history -- Lacan and the beyond of language : from art to ethics -- Brown's Wieland and the ethical circumscription of death -- Heideggerian ethics : the voice of art and the call to being -- Levinas: art and the transcendence of solitude -- Endings : ethics, enigma, and address in The marble faun -- Riven : Badiou's ethical subject and the event of art as trauma.
Introduction : the middle is everywhere -- Towards an ideal limit : linguistic authority in the work of Iris Murdoch -- From apophasis to aporia : William Golding and the indescribable -- Verbal sludge : the ethics of instability in Patrick White's prose -- Bliss from bricks : Saul Bellow's moral phenomenology -- Conclusion: drawing circles in the sea : un-defining the 'mystical novelist' -- Endnotes.
The Jamesian mode of writing, it has been claimed, actively works against an understanding of the way truth, history and power circulate in his texts. In this collection of essays, leading scholars of James analyse the strategies James used to address these crucial issues. Enacting History in Henry James claims that, because the type of knowledge available in James's fiction is never of a cognitive kind, the reader can never know 'truth' in any verifiable sense. James's writing instead (...) promises an experiential type of knowledge, one that is attained by participating in the power games and moral dramas that unfold within the text. This collection argues that reading James ultimately requires not just an emotional responsiveness, but also an ethical assumption of responsibility for the act of reading. By placing James's work in a fresh theoretical context, this book throws new light on this most enigmatic of writers. (shrink)
Isolation in the back-country: George Chamier, G.B. Lancaster, Katherine Mansfield, John Mulgan, and Graham Billing -- Outsiders and misfits in fragmented social milieux: William Satchell, Vincent Pyke, John A. Lee, Robin Hyde, Frank Sargeson, and others -- The lonely and the alone in the fiction of Janet Frame -- Maurice Gee and postmodern isolation -- Women, isolation, and history: Fiona Kidman, Noel Hilliard, and Patricia Grace -- Cultural deracination and isolation: Witi Ihimaera, Keri Hulme, and Alan Duff.
Immortality has long preoccupied everyone from alchemists to science fiction writers. In this intriguing investigation, Stephen Clark contends that the genre of science fiction writing enables the investigation of philosophical questions about immortality without the constraints of academic philosophy. He shows how fantasy accounts of phenomena such as resurrection, outer body experience, reincarnation or life extending medicines can be related to philosophy in interesting ways. Reading Western myths such as that of vampire, he examines the ways fear and hopes of (...) immortality are an intrinsic part of Western culture and philosophy. As one of the first works to suggest the use of science fiction in the study of philosophy, Clark creates a ground for intellectual, philosophical and experimental inquiry. (shrink)
Why do people respond emotionally to works of fiction they know are make-believe? Boruah tackles this question, which is fundamental aesthetics and literary studies, from a totally new perspective. Bringing together the various answers that have been offered by philosophers from Aristotle to Roger Scruton, he shows that while some philosophers have denied any rational basis to our emotional responses to fiction, others have argued that the emotions evoked by fiction are not real emotions at all. In response to this, (...) Boruah contends that fictional emotions are rational because they are based on the same sorts of beliefs that we form about real situations and real people. He illustrates this argument with literary examples ranging from Shakespeare to Tolstoy. (shrink)
This book argues for the ethical relevancy of contemporary fiction at the beginning of the 21st century. The writers discussed in Contemporary Fiction and the Ethics of Modern Culture pay close attention to the concrete realities of the everyday world, such as the feelings of isolation created in urban environments; the roles played by sports, drugs, advertising, and the media; and the widespread use of computer, telecommunication, and entertainment technologies. Through reading novels by such writers as David Foster Wallace, Richard (...) Powers, and Irvine Welsh, this book looks at how these works seek to transform the ways that readers live in the world. This book should appeal to scholars of contemporary literature, persons interested in cultural studies, critics interested in ethics, scholars of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, students of contemporary literature, and general readers of contemporary literature. (shrink)
Philosophy Through Science Fiction offers a fun, challenging, and accessible way in to the issues of philosophy through the genre of science fiction. Tackling problems such as the possibility of time travel, or what makes someone the same person over time, the authors take a four-pronged approach to each issue, providing a clear and concise introduction to each subject amd a science fiction story that exemplifies a feature of the philosophical discussion ú historical and contemporary philosophical texts that investigate the (...) issue with rigor, and ú glossary, plot profiles of pertinent science fiction stories and films, and questions for further reflection. Philosophy Through Science Fiction includes stories from contemporary science fiction writers including Greg Egan and Mike Resnick, as well as from classic authors like Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein. Philosophy readings include historical pieces Rene Descartes and David Hume, and include contemporary pieces by John Searle and Mary Midgley. (shrink)
The Philosopher at the End of the Universe demonstrates how anyone can grasp the basic concepts of philosophy while still holding a bucket of popcorn. Mark Rowlands makes philosophy utterly relevant to our everyday lives and reveals its most potent messages using nothing more than a little humor and the plotlines of some of the most spectacular, expensive, high-octane films on the planet. Learn about: The Nature of Reality from The Matrix , Good and Evil from Star Wars , Morality (...) from Aliens , Personal Identity from Total Recall , The Mind-Body dilemma from Terminator , Free Will from Minority Report , Death and the Meaning of Life from Blade Runner , and much more. A search for knowledge about ourselves and the world around us with a star-studded cast that includes: Tom Cruise, Plato, Harrison Ford, Immanuel Kant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Friedrich Nietzsche, Sigourney Weaver, Rene? Descartes, and Keanu Reeves. Rowlands anchors his discussions in easily understood everyday terms and relates them in a manner easy to identify with. Interspersed with a ready joke or two, he wonderfully explains why those SciFi movies we love so much are much deeper than they appear to be on the surface. Mark Rowlands's entertaining and stimulating guide is perfect for anyone searching for knowledge of the world around us. If Keanu can understand Descartes surely everyone can. (shrink)
Puritans and Pragmatists: Eight Eminent American Thinkers. By Paul K. Conkin. (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1968. Pp. viii+49S. Cloth, $12.50; Paper, $5.95) Recent American Philosophy. By Andrew Reck. (New York: Pantheon, Random House, 1964. Pp. xiii+343. $5.95) -/- These two volumes supplement each other in several ways: the one introduces eight of the most important philosophers in Americanhistory, the other introduces ten less famous but more recent philosophers; the one portrays major makers of (...) the American heritage, the other expounds various types of philosophical systems, each in its own terms; the one can be read like history and biography, the other must be studied carefully; the one is written for the so-called intelligent layman, the other is composed for professional students of philosophy. Together they give a better account of the varieties of American philosophical thought than either gives, and together they provide an excellent orientation both historically and analytically. Professor Conkin of the Universities of Maryland and Wisconsin presents Jonathan Edwards, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Charles S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, and George Santayana as interesting individuals with impressive minds; the biographical and philosophical portraits are blended with rare skill and insight, so that, despite the varied idioms of their thinking and writing, these philosophers are described in a manner and a language that is intelligible and enjoyable to a literate reader, whether he has studied philosophy or not. The book will certainly be enjoyed by a large number of readers as both history and "wisdom literature." The eight eminent Americans are presented as a sequence, set against the backdrop of a "Puritan Prelude," so that they compose a continuity of New England tradition and share in a "common moral tenor." This intellectual history reflects the imaginative and literary skill of a trained historian. Three of the eight are presented as "diverse Puritans," another three as equally diverse pragmatists. Emerson is presented as "in transition" and Santayana as "in retreat." A few specialists will be irritated by the vague generalizations that serve to make a single story out of these eight characters. The author himself accurately predicts that "the most perceptive reader may find the unity too elusive to be convincing" and "some may even resent as distracting my efforts to identify it" (p. vi). One is apt to wonder what each of the eight would say if they could read the book and would find themselves set up in historical order and continuity. It is, to be sure, a commonplace that no person sees himself in proper historical perspective; but these eight are "eminently" qualified to make some intelligent remarks about themselves and their "predecessors." It seems appropriate, therefore, in this connection to report a few self-orienting remarks of Santayana. He was evidently pleased when he saw that Will Durant, in his The Story of Philosophy, has listed him to follow Herbert Spencer. And he said with some emotion: "I wish I could go down in history not as an American but as the last of the Victorians." And while he was writing his novel and was engrossed in it as autobiography he commented: "Of course, I never thought of myself as the last Puritan, for I never was one, but I might be considered as the dialectically ultimate Puritan, who worried conscientiously because he believed he should not have a con- science. (shrink)
Bringing together poststructuralist ethical theory with late Victorian debates about the morality of literature, this book reconsiders the ways in which novels engender an ethical orientation or response in their readers, explaining how the ...
This book offers the first full-length study of philosophical dialogue during the English Enlightenment. It explains why important philosophers - Shaftesbury, Mandeville, Berkeley and Hume - and innumerable minor translators, imitators and critics wrote in and about dialogue during the eighteenth century; and why, after Hume, philosophical dialogue either falls out of use or undergoes radical transformation. Philosophical Dialogue in the British Enlightenment describes the extended, heavily coded, and often belligerent debate about the nature and proper management of dialogue; and (...) it shows how the writing of philosophical fictions relates to the rise of the novel and the emergence of philosophical aesthetics. Novelists such as Fielding, Sterne, Johnson and Austen are placed in a philosophical context, and philosophers of the empiricist tradition in the context of English literary history. (shrink)
Time travelers and battles between people and machines provoke old philosophical questions: Can the past really be changed? How do we differentiate ourselves from machines? Can machines have an inner life? Brown (philosophy & critical thinking, LaGuardia Community Coll.) and Decker (philosophy, Eastern Washington Univ.; coeditor, Star Wars and Philosophy ) collect 19 essays by primarily young academics who pursue these questions with entertaining verve and philosophical skill. The Terminator story is about something well intentioned—a defense project—going wrong, but none (...) of the essays here presses this issue to a clear conclusion (readers whose interest is aroused would do well to read Wendell Wallach and Colin Allen's Moral Machines , concerned with actual machines and ones that might soon exist). Among the book's bright spots are contributions from Harry Chotiner and Jennifer Culver that show us something about how the movies work and explore the feminist issues posed by placing Sarah Connor at the center of the story. One essayist, Phillip Seng, addresses the philosophical trouble at the heart of the tale: telling good from evil in politics is hard. This book will earn a place in libraries by presenting serious issues in a way that attracts readers.—Leslie Armour, Dominican Univ. Coll., Ottawa, Ont. (shrink)
Aims of education: historicism and In the castle of my skin -- The meaning of life and Black lightning -- The inner radiance of the shelf in Palace of the peacock -- Knowledge and human understanding in A house for Mr Biswas -- Existentialism and The children of Sisyphus -- Tragic vision in Wide Sargasso Sea -- African conceptions of a person and Myal -- The law of karma in Sastra -- The moralty of reparations in Salt -- Plato versus (...) Kincaid?: A reading of The autobiography of my mother. (shrink)
Prologue -- Part 1: Property, personification, and idols: Owning things; the crying of lost things; making babies in the South Seas; the growth of idols; The rape of the lock as still life -- Part 2: Persons and fictions: Locke's wild fancies; fictionality and the representation of persons -- Part 3: Authors and nonpersons: me and my ink; things as authors; authors owning nothing.
Applying ideas drawn from contemporary critical theory, this book historicizes psychoanalysis through a new and significant theorization of the Gothic. The central premise is that the nineteenth-century Gothic produced a radical critique of accounts of sublimity and Freudian psychoanalysis. This book makes a major contribution to an understanding of both the nineteenth century and the Gothic discourse which challenged the dominant ideas of that period. Writers explored include Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Bram Stoker.
Part I. Philosophy of novels. 1. Introduction: philosophical content and literary value -- 2. Interpreting novels -- 3. The sun also rises: incompatible interpretations -- 4. The appeal of the mystery -- Part II. Philosophy in novels. 5. Moral development in Pride and prejudice -- 6. Huckleberry Finn and moral motivation -- 7. What we learn about rules from The cider house rules -- 8. Nostromo and the fragility of the self.