Fish, S. Georgics of the mind: Bacon's philosophy and the experience of his Essays.--Brett, R. L. Thomas Hobbes.--Watt, I. Realism and the novel.--Tuveson, E. Locke and Sterne.--Kampf, L. Gibbon and Hume.--Frye, N. Blake's case against Locke.--Abrams, M. H. Mechanical and organic psychologies of literary invention.--Ryle, G. Jane Austen and the moralists.--Schneewind, J. B. Moral problems and moral philosophy in the Victorian period.--Donagan, A. Victorian philosophical prose: J. S. Mill and F. H. Bradley.--Pitcher, G. Wittgenstein, nonsense, and Lewis Carroll.--Bolgan, A. C. (...) The philosophy of F. H. Bradley and the mind and art of T. S. Eliot: an introduction.--Davie, D. Yeats, Berkeley, and Romanticism.--Ross, M. L. The mythology of friendship: D. H. Lawrence, Bertrand Russell, and "The Blind man".--Rosenbaum, S. P. The philosophical realism of Virginia Woolf.--Bibliography (p. 357-360). (shrink)
Cefalu offers the first sustained assessment of the ways in which recent contemporary philosophy and cultural theory -- including the work of Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, Eric Santner, Slavoj Žižek, and Alenka Zupancic -- can illuminate Early Modern literature and culture. The book argues that when selected Early Modern devotional poets set out to represent subject-God relations, they often encounter some sublime aspect of God that, in Slovenian-Lacanian terms, seems "Other" to himself. This divine Other, while sometimes presented directly (...) as a void or empty place, is more often filled in and presented instead as some form of divine excess. While Donne, and to a lesser extent Traherne, disavow those numinous aspects of God that might subsist beneath such excesses, Crashaw, and especially Milton, attempt to represent the intimate relationship between any creature’s and God's intrinsic alterity. Cefalu introduces new ways of theorizing not only seventeenth-century religious ideologies, but also the nature of Early Modern subjectivity. (shrink)
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.
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 ...
In 1902 Croce published a book on aesthetics which was partly cause and partly effect of a philosophical and cultural revolution in Italy at the time. It had such a great success that it was soon translated into the major foreign languages, including English in 1909, with the title Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistics. The book did not have, in fact, that much aesthetic content, and its subtitle is more descriptive than its title. It was more (...) of a meta-aesthetics or meta-philosophy of art, critical of any philosophical doctrines which do not give art its proper place among human activities. This was Croce's first book-length philosophical monograph and antedates his extensive works on literary criticism for which he became so famous. (shrink)
The term "Philosophic lyric".--Introductory chapter.--The "return to nature"; Wordsworth's "philosophy of nature".--The period between Wordsworth and Meredith.--Wordsworth and Meredith as poets of nature.--Browning and Meredith as poets of man.--Conclusion.
Benedetto Croce’s influence pervades Anglo-Saxon culture, but, ironically, before Giovanni Gullace heeded the call of his colleagues and provided this urgently needed translation of _La Poesia, _speakers of English had no access to Croce’s major work and final rendering of his esthetic theory.__ __ _Aesthetic, _published in 1902 and translated in 1909, represents most of what the English-speaking world knows about Croce’s theory. It is, asserts Gullace, “no more than a first sketch of a thought that developed, clarified, (...) and corrected itself through new literary experience and more mature reflection.” During the 34 years between _Aesthetic _and _La Poesia _, for example, Croce added a striking new element to his thought: the analysis of prose literature. Gullace’s introduction to _La Poesia _constitutes a major undertaking in its own right. It is aimed at acquainting the reader with the evolution of Croce’s thought and at explaining the relationship between this final work and the philosopher’s previous work in esthetic theory and literary criticism. __ _La Poesia _is divided into two parts, text and postscripts. The text consists of four chapters: Poetry and Literature; The Life of Poetry; Criticism and History of Poetry; and The Formation of the Poet and the Precepts. Croce saw the postscripts “as a relaxed conversation after the tension of theoretical exposition. In Gullace’s translation the text and relevant postscripts appear conveniently side by side in a double column. Gullace has annotated both text and postscripts. (shrink)
The encroachment of globalization and demands for greater regional autonomy have had a profound effect on the way we picture Ireland. This challenging new look at the key of sovereignty asks us how we should think about the identity of a postnationalist' Ireland. Richard Kearney goes to the heart of the conflict over demand for communal identity - traditionally expressed by nationalism, and the demand for a universal model of citizenship - traditionally expressed by republicanism. In so doing, he asks (...) us to question whether the sacrosanct concept of absolute national sovereignty is becoming a luxury ill afforded in the emerging new Europe. Kearney then takes us beyond the political with chapters on the influence of philosophers such as George Berkeley, John Toland and John Tyndall and looks at some of the myths in Irish poetry and nationhood. Postnationalist Ireland provides a recasting of contemporary Irish politics, culture, literature and philosophy and will appeal to students of these subjects and Irish studies in general. (shrink)
If any emergent historical criticism will tend by its own choice toward inclusiveness and eclecticism, it is also likely to be constrained by more subtle forms of complicity with the theoretical subculture within which it seeks its audience. It is not in principle impossible that we might choose to set going an initiative that is very different indeed from the methods and approaches already in place. But is nonetheless clear that we must be aware, in some propaedeutic way, of (...) the predispositions for or against such change that are latent in the horizons of the field as they are presently conceived and transmitted. An account of these predispositions will take up most of the following essay. Whether or not the particular texts I shall discuss constitute anything as firm as an establishment in the absolute sense does not matter much: they neither sum up the ongoing careers of their particular authors, in the diachronic sense, nor do they represent any simple totality in the critical culture of the late 1960s. All we need here is the weaker assumption: that these writings by Derrida, Paul de Man, Michel Foucault, and Pierre Macherey do offer, by virtue of their very notoriety, evidence of the priorities within the discipline that have afforded them their reputations in the first place. Thus, while they do not in themselves prohibit the emergence of alternatives, they do give us clues about the residual pressures that might constrain those alternatives, and they signal the questions that the historical party must respond to if it is to be recognized as making an important contribution to a debate. My argument will be that the influential critics of the late 1960s have made it very hard indeed to find a place for history, so much so that the avowedly Marxist alternative set forth by Jameson finds itself making disabling concessions to those very influences. I do not claim to describe the entire range of options and alternatives, and indeed offer no discussion of the most excitingly contested field of all, that represented by contemporary feminisms. I mean instead to demonstrate, through a reading of those methodologies that have become authoritative, that the status of historical inquiry has been so eroded that its reactive renaissance, in whatever form, threatens to remain merely gestural and generic. “History” promises thus to function as legitimating any reference to a context beyond literature exclusively conceived, whether it be one of discourse, biography, political or material circumstance. In particular, given the current popularity of discourse analysis, it seems likely that for many practitioners the historical method will remain founded in covertly idealist reconstructions. David Simpson is professor of English and comparative literature at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is the author of various books and essays, most recently The Politics of American English, 1776-1850 and Wordsworth’s Historical Imagination: The Poetry of Displacement. (shrink)
This book contends that when late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century writers sought to explain the origins of emotions, they often discovered that their feelings may not really have been their own. It explores the paradoxes of representing feelings in philosophy, aesthetic theory, gender ideology, literature, and popular sentimentality, and it argues that this period's obsession with sentimental, wayward emotion was inseparable from the dilemmas resulting from attempts to locate the origins of feelings in experience. The book shows how these (...) epistemological dilemmas became gendered by studying a series of extravagantly affective scenes in works by Hume, Wordsworth, Charlotte Smith, and Jane Austen. Making its argument through a provocative conjunction of texts that range across genres and genders and across the divide between the eighteenth century and Romanticism, Strange Fits of Passion rediscovers the relationship of empiricism to the culture of sentimentality, and the significance of emotion to Romanticism. (shrink)
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)
This book looks in particular at Achebe's Anthills of the Savannah and Petals of Blood by Ngugi wa Thiong'o, but situates these within the broader context of developments in African literature over the past half-century, discussing writers from Ayi Kwei Armah to Wole Soyinka. M.S.C. Okolo provides a thorough analysis of the authors' differing approaches and how these emerge from the literature. Okolo argues that these authors have been profoundly affected by the political situation of Africa, but have (...) also helped to create a new African political philosophy. (shrink)
Literate Experience argues for the existence of certain shared patterns of intellectual association in the English seventeenth century, patterns that follow the outlines of Bacon’s project of epistemological reform. Bacon’s project offered a theory of how knowing as a private act could be transformed into a public one, an act related to the creation and maintenance of public authority. The question thus becomes, how did thinkers in the period reimagine civil society as a polity of knowledge? This study traces (...) out a variety of answers to that question, ranging from the Royal Society’s communal rhetoric to the work of four literary writers who, in a variety of ways, problematize the notion that political society exists as a community of shared knowledge. (shrink)
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.
The new methods, the tone, and new taste are clearly discernible first in the early articles and books of John Crowe Ransom, Allen Tate, R. P. Blackmur, Kenneth Burke, and Yvor Winters, and somewhat later in Cleanth Brooks, Robert Penn Warren, and William K. Wimsatt. . . . Still, something tells us that there is some sense in grouping these critics together. Most obviously they are held together by their reaction against the preceding or contemporary critical schools and views mentioned (...) before. They all reject the kind of metaphorical, evocative criticism practiced by the impressionists. Tate, Blackmur, Burke, and Winters contributed to a symposium highly critical of the neo-Humanists, and others voiced their rejection elsewhere. They all had no use for Mencken and Van Wyck Brooks, particularly after Brooks became a violent enemy of all modernism. Furthermore, they were almost unanimous in their rejection of Marxism, with the single exception of Kenneth Burke, who in the thirties passed through a Marxist phase and, anyhow, after his first book moved away from his neo-critical beginnings. What, however, in the American situation mattered most was that they were united in their opposition to the prevailing methods, doctrines, and views of academic English literary scholarship. There, in a way the younger generation may find it difficult to realize, a purely philological and historical scholarship dominated all instruction, publication, and promotion. I remember that when I first came to study Englishliterature in the Princeton graduate school in 1927, fifty years ago, no course in American literature, none in modern literature, and none in criticism was offered. Of all my learned teachers only Morris W. Croll had any interest in aesthetics or even ideas. Most of the New Critics were college teachers and had to make their way in an environment hostile to any and all criticism. Only Kenneth Burke was and remained a freelance man of letters, though he taught in later years occasionally at Bennington College and briefly at the University of Chicago. But he very early deserted the New Criticism. It took Blackmur, Tate, and Winters years to get academic recognition, often against stiff opposition, and even Ransom, R. P. Warren, and Cleanth Brooks, established in quieter places, had their troubles. Ransom's paper "Criticism, Inc." pleaded for the academic establishment of criticism, and thanks to him and others criticism is now taught in most American colleges and universities. But it was an uphill fight. I still remember vividly the acrimony of the conflict between criticism and literary history at the University of Iowa, where I was a member of the English Department from 1939 to 1946. René Wellek, Sterling Professor Emeritus of comparative literature at Yale University, is the author of Theory of Literature and of A History of Modern Criticism, 1750-1950. He has contributed "Notes and Exchanges Between René Wellek and Wayne C. Booth" and "A Rejoinder to Gerald Graff" to Critical Inquiry. (shrink)
William Walker's original analysis of John Locke's An Essay Concerning Human Understanding offers a challenging and provocative assessment of Locke's importance as a thinker, bridging the gap between philosophical and literary-critical discussion of his work. He presents Locke as a foundational figure who defines the epistemological and ontological ground on which eighteenth-century and Romantic literature operate and eventually diverge. He is revealed as a crucial figure for emerging modernity, less the familiar empiricist innovator and more the proto-Nietzschean thinker whose (...) text fosters hitherto unsuspected instabilities and promotes a new kind of rhetorical force to counterbalance them. Walker's reading of Locke is at once finely attentive to the text and engagingly resourceful in placing the Essay in its broadest philosophical and historical context. (shrink)
This book is a collection of essays, and is an exercise in literary criticism. Most of the entries couple a philosopher with a literary artist, and the majority of these have an emphasis on the philosophical partner which one frequently fails to find in this sort of study. While few of the critics are capable of sustaining their subtle distinctions, a task properly required of a philosopher, it is nonetheless true that few philosophers can likewise do this. The ability (...) to systematically sustain these distinctions is what characterizes those first-order thinkers whom the body of philosophers and critics alike study. Granting this, the fact still remains that first-rate criticism is vastly more palatable intellectual fodder than is less than first-rate philosophizing. Studies such as the current one bring philosophy back into reality; the relation of a philosopher’s thought to his period, in all of the latter’s diversity, gives to that thought a realistic character that more transparently informs the creations of the fine arts than it does the original products of thought. And if thought is to avoid the sterility which so antagonized both a Sterne and a Hegel, and to become genuinely meaningful, this larger context will be forever indispensable.—R. J. G. (shrink)
What is the relationship between the self and society? Where do moral judgments come from? As Blakey Vermeule demonstrates in The Party of Humanity, such questions about sociability and moral philosophy were central to eighteenth-century writers and artists. Vermeule focuses on a group of aesthetically complicated moral texts: Alexander Pope's character sketches and Dunciad , Samuel Johnson's Life of Savage, and David Hume's self-consciously theatrical writings on pride and his autobiographical writings on religious melancholia. These writers and their characters confronted (...) familiar social dilemmas--sexual desire, gender identity, family relations, cheating, ambition, status, rivalry, and shame--and responded by developing a practical ethics about their own behavior at the same time that they refined their moral judgments of others. The Party of Humanity frames its discussion about emotions, social conflict, and aesthetics within two broad theories: the emerging field of evolutionary psychology and Kantian moral philosophy. By studying how eighteenth-century Britons experienced the demands of their social identities, Vermeule argues, we can better understand the most salient problems facing moral philosophy today--the issue of self-interest and the question of how moral norms are shaped by social agendas. (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)
I begin by asking an engagingly naive question that a layman would have every right to put to us - and often has. Why should we interest ourselves seriously in the once-upon-a-time worlds of fiction - these unreal stories about unreal individuals? It has been a persistent question in the history of criticism - ever since Plato called the poet a liar - and it is a question at once obvious and embarrassing. It is obvious because, for the (...) apologist for imaginative literature, it becomes a prolegomenon to all further questions; and it is embarrassing because merely to ask it threatens to put literature out of business and, with it, all those who treat it as a serious and world-affecting art. Why, then, should we interest ourselves seriously in fictions? However elementary, it is a question that is more easily asked than answered. Murray Krieger is the author of The Tragic Vision and The Classic Vision, which have recently been reprinted in the two-volume paperback Visions of Extremity in Modern Literature. He is University Professor of English and director of the Program of Critical Theory at the University of California at Irvine. "Poetic Presence and Illusion: Renaissance Theory and the Duplicity of Metaphor," another contribution to Critical Inquiry, appeared in the Winter 1974 issue. See also: "The Dismantling of a Marionette Theater; or, Psychology and the Misinterpretation of Literature" by Erich Heller in Vol. 4, No. 3. (shrink)
Literary criticism is neither more nor less important today than it has been since the becoming an accepted activity in the Renaissance. The humanists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries created the institution of criticism as we know it: the recovery and analysis of works of art. They printed, edited, and interpreted texts that dated from antiquity and which had been lost or disheveled. Evangelical in their fervor, avid in their search for lost or buried riches, they also (...) put into circulation certain influential ideas. Perhaps the most important of these was that the authoritative version of a book is the original version, freed from interpolation and accretion. A correlative idea was that, similarly, one could rely on an original or natural light in the interpreter, an intuitive good sense that helped him to a true understanding of a text if it was a genuine text. . . . There are signs that we are now nearing the end of this Renaissance humanism. Not because of a determinist or providential march of history, but ideas eventually exhaust what influence they may have. Today, after all, there is no dearth of ancient texts, or of new ones. Editing, moreover, has become only too conscious of the difficulty of recovering an "original" version or edition: in Wordsworth scholarship, for example, the authority of the 1850 Prelude, the text approved by the poet shortly before his death, was challenged by the 1805-6 Prelude printed by de Sélincourt in the 1920s; and the authority of this is in turn being eroded by antecedent manuscripts, the so-called "Five-Books Prelude" and "Two-Part Prelude." It is equally precarious to establish the text of Emily Dickinson's poems—which of the variants are to be chosen as definitive? Or, from another angle, Melville's Billy Budd has become a mine for genetic speculation. Even when no editorial problem exists, a philosophical issue arises as to the concept of originality itself.1 · 1. For the time being, it is enough to quote Hegel's provocative attack on all "Ur-Metaphysics": "What comes later is more concrete and richer; the first is abstract, and least differentiated." Geoffrey Hartman, professor of English and comparative literature at Yale University, is the author of The Unmediated Vision, Andre Malraux, Wordsworth's Poetry, Beyond Formalism, and most recently The Fate of Reading. He is currently working on a book to be published in late 1977, Criticism in the Wilderness. (shrink)
Placing readings of early modern painting and literature in conversation with psychoanalytic theory and assemblage theory, this book argues that, far from isolating its sufferers, melancholy brings people together.