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  1.  1
    Meaning and Exemplarity in Poetics and Literary Theory.Andrew Bennett - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):140-157.
    Knowledge, Robert Rowland Smith remarks, is "derived by inference from specific cases in respect to a general order."1 The meaning of a literary work—our knowledge of it in that sense—is determined, according to this model, by the relationship between these two categories: between the "specific case" and the "general order." To gain knowledge of a text would be to understand what it means; and to understand what it means, one needs to negotiate from the particular to the general—thematically, contextually, generically, (...)
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  2.  9
    Literature, the Emotions, and Learning.Noël Carroll - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):1-18.
    The subject of this essay is the way in which literature, by engaging our emotions, contributes to our emotional intelligence. In reading works of literature, we are almost constantly called upon—or mandated—to mobilize our emotions in the process of understanding the text. In this way, the literary text ineludibly guides us through a rehearsal of the pertinent portions of our affective repertoire.For example, we do not fully understand Iago unless we despise him, nor do we understand Dorothea Brooke adequately without (...)
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  3.  4
    Provoking Things: Homer, Humpty, and Heidegger.Sally Cloke - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):176-183.
    "It is a—most—provoking—thing," [Humpty Dumpty] said at last,"when a person doesn't know a cravat from a belt!"—Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, chap. 6, n.p.1Homer's Odysseus and Lewis Carroll's Humpty Dumpty. An unlikely pairing, perhaps, but should they ever meet at some wayside inn or afternoon tea table they may find they have plenty to talk about. Both inhabit tales that involve journeys into strange lands, alarming characters, and peculiar dinner companions, and both use their wits to compete in complex language (...)
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  4.  4
    Reading and Seeing: The Artistic Use of Visual Features in Contemporary Novels.Bradley Elicker - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):19-34.
    On reading Irvine Welsh's novel Filth for the first time, I quickly noticed that something was amiss. I followed the apparent food poisoning of amoral Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson all the way down page twenty-three. Then, as I turned the page, something entirely unexpected happened. The text became obscured by what appeared to be the black outlines of intestines. What's more, though Robertson's first-person account of his own illness was obscured, a new narrative voice appeared within the intestines: "I am (...)
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  5.  2
    Ted Cohen on Sharing the World.Michael Fischer - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):188-198.
    In "Stanley Cavell and the Limits of Appreciation," Ted Cohen restates his hatred of Richard Wagner's music. Cohen hears something "very nasty" in Wagner's music, "an element of Nazism," to borrow Thomas Mann's phrase for what Mann, too, found disturbing in Wagner.1 Whereas Mann was still able to value Wagner's music, Cohen despises listening to it. Cohen realizes that his revulsion sets him apart not only from Mann but also from W. H. Auden, who praised Wagner's "consummate skill" in creating (...)
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  6.  3
    The Causes of Action in Oedipus Tyrannus.Roy Glassberg - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):184-187.
    Why do things happen as they do in the universe of Oedipus Tyrannus, consisting of the play itself coupled with the myth that surrounds and informs it? Why is Oedipus fated to kill his father and marry his mother? What part does Oedipus play in his own destruction? What role do divinities play? And what of human free will? In what follows I consider the power of curses, prophecy, prayer, fate, the gods, and human self-determination as they serve to effect (...)
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  7.  3
    The Many Sources of Meaning.Péter Hajdu - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):124-139.
    When we speak about the source of meaning, we are using a metaphor that is probably dead, but may still retain some of its heuristic force.1 There are several ways the human mind can understand a phenomenon. One of them is through understanding its cause. We can cope with something if we understand why it happens. Apart from the realm of cognition, the metaphor of the source also applies to legitimacy. If a piece of information has a source, it is (...)
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  8.  2
    On Theory-Centrism: The "Literary Theory" Void of Literature.Zhang Jiang - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):88-104.
    From the end of the nineteenth century to the late twentieth century, the development of Western literary theory witnessed three important stages: from "author oriented," to "text oriented," and then to "reader oriented." Each of these three historical stages generated several important theories and schools, each with its own advantages, with infiltration and cross-thematic debates from time to time. However, we can now form the judgment that, after one hundred years of development and evolution, the overall pattern of Western literary (...)
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  9.  1
    Introduction.Wang Ning - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):80-87.
    As literary scholars, we are often puzzled by these questions raised from among the reading public: What is the meaning of this literary work? How does the author express his/her intention to portray the characters or narrate the story? How shall we as literary critics interpret the meaning of the literary work? Can a certain literary work have only one meaning? Obviously this is not the case. In order to answer the above questions, we present this special cluster of articles (...)
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  10.  3
    The Rules and Politics of Storyworlds: Fictionalizing the Everyday in E. F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia Novels.James Phillips - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):52-65.
    Astory is an instruction manual of sorts, containing rules for the manufacture of fictional objects. Consider the opening sentence from E. F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia: "Though it was nearly a year since her husband's death, Emmeline Lucas still wore the deepest and most uncompromising mourning."1 As the sentence does not describe someone who exists, it does not press a truth claim that could be substantiated by observing the person in question. Instead, it is an invitation to construction: the reader (...)
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  11.  1
    The Meaning of Community Under the Pen of Wordsworth.Yin Qi-Ping - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):158-175.
    The meaning of "community" in William Wordsworth's poems deserves further exploration. Recent studies have shown an increasing interest in Wordsworth's thoughts and feelings regarding community. Of all the ongoing debates, the most interesting is the one between Lucy Newlyn and Simon J. White. In an article whose subtitle is "Community in The Prelude," Newlyn argues that in writing The Prelude Wordsworth's "aim was nothing less than to show how the foundations of a benevolent society might be laid using 'the growth (...)
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  12.  3
    The Art of Being: Poetics of the Novel and Existentialist Philosophy by Yi-Ping Ong.Corina Stan - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):199-206.
    Yi-Ping Ong's The Art of Being: Poetics of the Novel and Existentialist Philosophy is a highly innovative book. It teases out from essays by Søren Kierkegaard, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir an existentialist poetics of the novel, which then inspires thoughtful readings of freedom and self-consciousness, situated worldhood, and unfinished works of art in nineteenth-century novels. At every step, Ong carefully articulates the insights that set her study apart from established ways of understanding the novel as form, the legacy (...)
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  13.  3
    Brancusi's Golden Bird and Loy's "Brancusi's Golden Bird": A Spinozist Encounter.Christopher Thomas - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):66-79.
    While the work of Benedict de Spinoza has been a source of inspiration and curiosity for a variety of literary and artistic figures,1 his grounding philosophical principles are often cited as a hindrance for a productive engagement with art and art theory. Certain commentators cite Spinoza's "naturalism" and "rationalism" as reasons for his philosophy's "hostility" to art and culture.2 But these criticisms only prevail if: one holds that works of art and literature ought to have an ontological ground other than (...)
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  14.  2
    Freud on the Uncanny: A Tale of Two Theories.Mark Windsor - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):35-51.
    Since its publication nearly a century ago, Freud's essay on the uncanny has attracted much attention in the humanities, and has become a key point of reference for many discussions of literature and art.1 In spite of this, Freud's essay is often poorly understood. Freud's theory of the uncanny is typically referred to in the literature as the "return of the repressed." Indeed, at one point in the essay, Freud does define the uncanny as "something which is secretly familiar … (...)
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  15.  2
    Textual Meaning in the Complex System of Literature.Zhou Xian - 2020 - Philosophy and Literature 44 (1):105-123.
    One of the most disputed issues in twentieth-century literary theories and critical studies is what literary textual meaning rests upon. A further question is whether textual meaning is ascertainable or not. The two questions are interrelated. The first one looks into the origin of textual meaning in literary texts: is it derived from authorial intent, or from sentences and rhetorical devices, or actualized in the process of readerly activities and critical interpretation? As John Searle sees it, three theories focused on (...)
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