Numinous spaces in British literature from William Wordsworth to Samuel Beckett -- Jesus figures in American literature from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Edward Albee -- Using Bakhtin's definitions to discover ethical voices in Solzhenitsyn and Tolstoy -- René Girard's categories of scapegoats in literature of the American South -- Hopkins's metaphysics of nature as sacred disclosure -- The book of job as mirrored in Hopkins's metaphysics -- Beckett's mythos of the absence of God.
Figuring Animals is a collection of fifteen essays concerning the representation of animals in literature, the visual arts, philosophy, and cultural practice. At the turn of the new century, it is helpful to reconsider our inherited understandings of the species, some of which are still useful to us. It is also important to look ahead to new understandings and new dialogue, which may contribute to the survival of us all. The contributors to this volume participate in this dialogue in (...) a variety of ways--through personal experience, natural history, cultural studies, philosophical inquiry, art history, literary analysis, film studies, and theoretical imagining, and through a combination of these trains of thought. The essays expose weaknesses in western epistemological frames of reference that for centuries have limited our views and, thus, our experiences of animal being, including our own. (shrink)
The book is about three things. First, how Ancient thinkers perceived humans as like or unlike other animals; second about the justification for taking a humane attitude towards natural things; and third about how moral claims count as true, and how they can be discovered or acquired. Was Aristotle was right to see continuity in the psychological functions of animal and human souls? The question cannot be settled without taking a moral stance. As we can either focus on continuity or (...) on discontinuities, how should natural science draw the boundaries? Moral agents act and react in a world that they see under a certain description, and there is no value free science that can settle what is the correct description. This book asks us to think about where moral justification could come from, and suggests that the supposed ‘moral status’ of the object cannot provide the answer. For the moral status of the object is a product of our own imagination, and once we see that, we also see that there remains the question where we ought to have the will to see it. Furthermore, since the perception of moral truth involves the development of imagination and will, the means to attain it will be better served by engagement with poetry and literature than with enquiries that seek to exclude the engagement of the imagination, or any appeal to the beauty of nature or the love of one's fellow creatures. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Acknowledgments; Introduction: scales of identification; 1. Democratic expansionism, gothic geographies, and Charles Brockden Brown; 2. Urban apartments, global cities: the enlargement of private space in Poe and James; 3. Cultural orphans: domesticity, missionaries, and China from Stowe to Sui Sin Far; 4. 'The Checkered Globe': cosmopolitan despair in the American Pacific; 5. Literature and regional production; Epilogue: scales of resistance.
Philosophical trends such as the philosophy of religion, especially Thomism, existentialism, and phenomenology emerged in Lithuanian philosophy during the 20th century. The article discusses the chief preconditions of the spread of existentialism, in particular the dominant Christian existentialism, in Lithuania and its influence on Lithuanian culture. The best known representatives of this philosophical trend were J. Girnius and A. Maceina. There are two periods of existentialism and its development in Lithuania: the first one includes the independence (...) years and the second covers the time of the Soviet occupation. The author discusses its influence on Lithuanian literature and introduces the main problems of existential philosophy. (shrink)
These essays showcase the value of the narrative arts in investigating complex conflicts of value in moral and political life, and explore the philosophical problem of moral dilemmas as expressed in ancient drama, classic and contemporary ...
Robert Abrams argues that new concepts of space and landscape emerged in mid-nineteenth-century American writing, marking a linguistic and interpretative limit to American expansion. Abrams supports the radical elements of antebellum writing, where writers from Hawthorne to Rebecca Harding Davis disputed the naturalizing discourses of mid-nineteenth century society. Whereas previous critics find in antebellum writing a desire to convert chaos into an affirmative, liberal agenda, Abrams contends that authors of the 1840s and 50s deconstructed more than they constructed.
While individuals presented in central texts of the period are indeed often alone or separated from others, Yousef regards this isolation as a problem the texts attempt to illuminate, rather than a condition they construct as normative or ...
This paper examines the complexity and fluidity of maternal identity through an examination of narratives about "real motherhood" found in children's literature. Focusing on the multiplicity of mothers in adoption, I question standard views of maternity in which gestational, genetic and social mothering all coincide in a single person. The shortcomings of traditional notions of motherhood are overcome by developing a fluid and inclusive conception of maternal reality as authored by a child's own perceptions.
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.
Introduction -- The muse of paralysis -- Horizon of conquest: Eugene Fromentin's Algerian narratives -- Slow progress: Jean Paulhan and Madagascar -- Frustration: Michel Leiris -- Atopia: Roland Barthes -- The wake of Ulysses.
The existentialist philosopher Karl Jaspers is the father of a discourse on the spiritual consequences of the Holocaust. First addressed as the Schuldfrage (the question of guilt) by Jaspers immediately after the Second World War in his famous Heidelberg lecture, it has reappeared in various forms in German life and letters. Post-unification Germany has witnessed the valorization of the German experience of the Second World War. This ongoing re-evaluation has its antecedents in the generational literature of the 1970s and (...) 1980s. Whereas the Vaterliteratur of the 1970s (by authors such as Christoph Meckel, Uwe Timm, and Peter Henisch) was often embedded in a left-wing critique of the establishment, recent contributions to this growing genre (by Marcel Beyer, Stephan Wackwitz, Wibke Bruhns, and Ulla Hahn among others) speak to the issue of collective identity and transgenerational family trauma outside distinct left- and right-wing interpretations of National Socialism. The current writings on the life during the Third Reich (filtered through the experiences of discrete generations) are a confluence of historical writing, memorial literature, biography, and fiction. They are closely related to the discussions that W. G. Sebald initiated in his 1997 lecture series on the silence of German postwar literature with respect to German suffering. The subsequent debate on how to bring closure to this ?German suffering? was intensified by Günter Grass's widening of the concept of German victimization beyond the air war controversy in his book Crabwalk (2002). As Grass distinguishes clearly between the various post-World War II generations (and their different perspectives on historical events), the question becomes whether these recent writings will bring about a final so-called ?zero hour? in German postwar history. (shrink)
Is it possible for postmodernism to offer viable, coherent accounts of ethics? Or are our social and intellectual worlds too fragmented for any broad consensus about the moral life? These issues have emerged as some of the most contentious in literary and philosophical studies. In Renegotiating Ethics in Literature, Philosophy, and Theory a distinguished international gathering of philosophers and literary scholars address the reconceptualisations involved in this 'turn towards ethics'. An important feature of this has been a renewed interest (...) in the literary text as a focus for the exploration of ethical issues. Exponents of this trend include Charles Taylor, Bernard Williams, Iris Murdoch, Cora Diamond, Richard Rorty and Martha Nussbaum, the latter a contributor and a key figure in this volume. This book assesses the significance of this development for ethical and literary theory and attempts to articulate an alternative postmodern account of ethics which does not rely on earlier appeals to universal truths. (shrink)
This article examines the controversial issue of blasphemy in literature from the viewpoint of reception inside and outside the academia. The thesis of the article is that blasphemy in literature, though inherently related to religion and language, has a plurality of connotations and interpretations (dissidence, intertextuality, critique of colonialism, discursive strategy, alterity/Otherness, ethnicity, subversive text). Consequently, blasphemy in literature is an incentive for fruitful discussions regarding tolerance, freedom of expression, and the re-situation of the (post)modern self in (...) today’s world, dominated by an uncanny admixture of secular and religious values. (shrink)
Although existentialism and evolutionary biology might appear to be polar opposites, with the former denying a role for “human nature” and the latter emphasizing it, there are some unrecognized parallels. One in particular is that both disciplines assume that human life is not inherently meaningful, such that any attribution of meaning must arise from human actions. The present article traces some of this intellectual correspondence in the realm of literature.