Philosophy and Literature

ISSN: 0190-0013

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  1. From Weltpoesie to Weltpoetik: World Poetics as Third-Order Observing.Thomas Beebee - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):48-64.
    This essay explores the idea of a world poetics through the lens of system theory. I propose three hypotheses that relate to Wang Ning's call for a world poetics: 1) world literature is coterminous with world poetics as guidelines for "making" world literature; 2) world literature is brought about by rendering the vast majority of literature invisible, whether the distinction is drawn geographically, generically, chronologically, or otherwise; and 3) world literature is third-order observing of literature, and that observing is its (...)
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  2. Transforming Perspectives: Reconfiguration in the Poetics of World Literature.Jin Bing - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):114-131.
    The first part of the present paper offers a critical response to Wang Ning's proposed construction of world poetics, based on a brief reexamination of the changing meanings and implications regarding the concept of world literature. The second part is an elucidation of the dynamics and tensions between global tendencies and local manifestations, taking the May Fourth writers and Xueheng School as examples. I argue that by transcending the binary opposition between the local and global, world poetics transforms perspectives from (...)
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  3.  1
    The Distance of Irish Modernism: Memory, Narrative, Representation by John Greaney (review).Xiaojing Chen & Hamid Farahmandian - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):251-253.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:The Distance of Irish Modernism: Memory, Narrative, Representation by John GreaneyXiaojing Chen and Hamid FarahmandianThe Distance of Irish Modernism: Memory, Narrative, Representation, John Greaney; 248 pp. London: Blooms-bury Academic, 2022.In his thought-provoking book The Distance of Irish Modernism, John Greaney embarks on a metacritical journey to unravel the paradoxical nature of Irish modernist fictions. The book delves into the enigma of how these works serve as vessels for (...)
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  4.  6
    The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob Dylan (review).Peter Cheyne - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):254-257.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Reviewed by:The Philosophy of Modern Song by Bob DylanPeter CheyneThe Philosophy of Modern Song, Bob Dylan; 422 pp. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2022.Bob Dylan, like Dante's Virgil, takes us on an odyssey through sixty-six levels, not of the Underworld but of Songworld, in The Philosophy of Modern Song. With playful prose rhythms measured for pleasure and effect, these vistas are almost all seen through second-person portrayals. His gorgeous (...)
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  5. World Poetics?Theo D'haen - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):16-30.
    Since the turn of the twenty-first century, we have seen a revival of interest in world literature and, in its wake, interest in its parent discipline: comparative literature. Many of the more recent interventions charge these disciplines, including the subdiscipline of poetics, with Eurocentrism. Though the debate ranges most intensively in US academe, Chinese scholars also have increasingly ventured onto this terrain. The present contribution elaborates on the "re-orientation" of comparative poetics and on the possibility of a world poetics.
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  6. World Poetics: Some Reflections on Its Rise and Conception.Ming Dong Gu - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):65-79.
    "World literature" has come of age. Its maturity calls for a world theory of literature. In this context, I will examine some important issues arising from Wang Ning's proposal for its conception and construction. Critically reviewing the historical movement from national literature to world literature and world poetics, this article addresses some fundamental issues including: Is it necessary to posit the concept of "world poetics"? If necessary, what is its nature? How should we conceive and define it? What paradigm should (...)
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  7.  5
    Explanation Beyond Interpretation.Aaron R. Hanlon - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):165-184.
    This article questions the extent to which interpretation explains literature, arguing that interpretation and explanation are not the same thing. It first engages with recent critical discussions of method and explanation in literary studies, finding that they are not much about method at all. It then offers a methodological framework that goes beyond various "method wars" over "critique" and "postcritique," and toward ways of explaining literature that are not reducible to matters of interpretation.
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  8.  1
    Biofictional Nietzsche among the Biofictionalists.Michael Lackey - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):215-231.
    Friedrich Nietzsche is the protagonist of many novels, but for authors of biofictions of the German iconoclast, their Nietzsche is not supposed to be seen as the real Nietzsche. Following Nietzsche's method in _Thus Spoke Zarathustra_, which is an early and vitally important biofiction, authors of biofiction about Nietzsche use the life of the German philologist to give readers themselves. By analyzing and interpreting _Thus Spoke Zarathustra_ as a biofiction, I show how authors of Nietzsche biofictions fictionalize and metaphorize, rather (...)
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  9.  3
    "I Trot Like a Horse": The Early Modern Animal Debate in Gulliver's Travels.Dana Laitinen - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):204-214.
    Does Gulliver's apparent equiphilia (love for equines) at the conclusion of Jonathan Swift's satire signify madness or misanthropy? I say neither, and propose that the neighing narrator is a satirical figure encompassing the animal debate between Michel de Montaigne and René Descartes. Swift's satire, I argue, addresses the early-modern controversy over human-animal distinctions by dramatizing a profound skepticism toward human reason. Swift's stance is registered in a vacillation between literalization of human-animal conversations, lampooning Montaigne, and satirizing Cartesian mechanism. I conclude (...)
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  10.  3
    The Role of Translation in the Worlding of Poetics.Tong King Lee - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):132-148.
    Following Wang Ning's postulation that world poetics is "an open theoretical body that gains in translation and cross-cultural interpretation and can be constantly reconstructed," I expound on the role of translation in the making of world poetics. I argue that the worlding of poetics manifests as a mode of circulating and reading literary theory and criticism by transcending the boundaries of languages and cultures. With reference to two polemical episodes in a Chinese literary context, I illustrate how world poetics serves (...)
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  11.  2
    From Comparative Poetics to World Poetics: A Proposed Theoretical Construction.Wang Ning - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):1-15.
    This article puts forward, from a Chinese and international perspective, a theoretical construction of world poetics, based on preliminary researches in the field. Its theoretical foundation mainly lies in three aspects: (1) World poetics is a theoretical sublimation of the research results of world literature and comparative poetics. (2) So far almost all the relatively universal literary interpretive theories are produced in the West, which can hardly cover all literary and theoretical categories and experiences. (3) Chinese literary theorists are always (...)
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  12.  4
    Love, Jealousy, and the Fear of Ontological Dependence: A Philosophical Reading of Shakespeare's Othello.Vittorio Sandri - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):149-164.
    Othello truly loves Desdemona and yet, this paper argues, he wants on some level to believe in her infidelity. But if he loves her so much, why would he want to believe in something that would destroy that love? The answer to this mystery, I contend, must be found in the connections between jealousy, love, and the great existential fragility to which love can expose us—connections that Shakespeare's play is capable of illuminating in uniquely powerful and profound ways.
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  13.  3
    World Poetics, Narrative Poetics, and Genre Studies.Biwu Shang - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):96-113.
    As a response to Wang Ning's proposal for world poetics, this paper makes a brief revisit to Earl Miner's work on comparative poetics in connection with his pursuit of literary systems before dwelling on the tenets and principles of Wang's proposed world poetics. Subscribing to Wang's position that all literary theories from different cultures should be given equal access to the theoretical body of world poetics, it takes genre studies as the point of departure and examines Wang's conceptualization of world (...)
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  14.  4
    Cultivating Moral Attention in Ellison's Invisible Man and Murdoch's Moral Theory.Amy C. Smith - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):185-203.
    Is _Invisible Man_ a sexist novel? Some critics have said so. I argue that reading _Invisible Man_ solely with a focus on gender representation misses an ethically significant dynamic between Ralph Ellison's narrator and white women. Reading _Invisible Man_ alongside Iris Murdoch's moral philosophy reveals a shared emphasis on cultivating attention to the realities of individuals by resisting fantasy. In viewing white women, the invisible man undergoes a Murdochian moral pilgrimage from fantasy to reality with courage, humility, and generosity. By (...)
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  15. Everything to Do with Dionysus: Reading The Birth of Tragedy through the Lens of Satyr Play.Christina Tarnopolsky - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):232-250.
    This article offers a new reading of Friedrich Nietzsche's _The Birth of Tragedy_ by reading it as a satyr play that utilizes motifs from Euripides's _Bacchae_, which itself has recently been read as a satyr play. Reading _The Birth of Tragedy_ this way offers new insights into Nietzsche's notion of satyr plays and their relation to Greek tragedy. It also helps to shed light on Nietzsche's depiction of the dual nature of Dionysus and the complex character of human suffering. Finally, (...)
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  16. Desynonymizing (World) Theory and Poetics.Galin Tihanov - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):31-47.
    This article enquires into the notion of world poetics constructed by Wang Ning in the lead article of this symposium. By examining the relationship between the discourses of world literature and literary theory, and between theory and poetics in the context of Western, Middle Eastern, and Chinese cultural production, I argue that poetics and theory should be desynonymized. The notions of theory and poetics in these cultural zones were shaped and functioned differently. My analysis of these differences involves a conceptual (...)
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  17.  2
    Worlding and Reworlding of Weltliteratur as Place and Value: From Asia into Oceania.Rob Sean Wilson - 2024 - Philosophy and Literature 48 (1):80-95.
    World literature entangled in the forms, values, terms, and genres of comparative poetics makes the literatures of sites like Asia Pacific, India, and Oceania better recognized in world creativity and border-crossing archipelagic agency. World literature can become enframed not just along "borderlands" of nations and regions but also across "borderwaters" of entangled places, regions, and zones. Given the increasing recognition of this postcolonial world-literary creativity and agency—which implies taking seriously the reworlding power of these literatures—world poetics will have to revise (...)
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