When we are most immersed in literary reading, and when that immersion is most significant, we may experience a literary work as constitutive of a ‘world’. With reference to the phenomenological tradition, it can be shown how this world is both a novel creation and serves to disclose, not least by shifting our perspective from, the world of ordinary experience. In this light, it will be shown how the problem of mimesis poses a challenge for recent neuroscientific approaches to (...) class='Hi'>literature. At the same time, neuroscientific findings show the insufficiency of phenomenological accounts which fail to acknowledge the physiological and cognitive processes that underlie literary imagining. I introduce the notion of the ‘mimetic dimension’ in order to clarify what accounts based on phenomenology and neuroscience can and cannot explain about literary mimesis and the experience of a literary world. (shrink)
Existential philosophy has perhaps captured the public imagination more completely than any other philosophical movement in the twentieth century. But less is known about the phenomenological method lying behind existentialism. In this solid introduction to phenomenological philosophy, authors David Stewart and Algis Mickunas show that phenomenology is neither new nor bizarre but is a contemporary way of raising afresh the major problems of philosophy that have dominated the traditions of Western thought. The authors carefully lead the reader trough the (...) maze of terminology, explaining the major problems phenomenology has treated and showing how these are a consistent extension of the traditional concerns of philosophy. In concise, uncluttered, and straightforward terms, the history, development, and contemporary status of phenomenology is explained with a copiously annotated bibliography following each chapter. Nothing in print combines the extensive introductory materials with a guide to the massive literature that has been produced by phenomenological and existential studies. (shrink)
Hegel, in a chapter called “Absolute Knowing,” end his most exciting and original work, the Jena Phenomenology of Spirit, with a quotation, or rather a significant misquotation, of a poet? The poet is Schiller and the poem is his 1782 “Freundschaft” (Friendship). This immediately turns into two questions: Why are the last words not Hegel’s own, and why are they rather a poet’s? I will turn to the details in a moment but, as noted, such an inquiry may not (...) be worth the trouble. Authors, even philosophers (who, with only a few exceptions, are not known for their literary style) like to cite poets.. (shrink)
This article focuses on the relation between philosophy and literature in early Sartre, showing how his literary writing can be seen as philosophically significant by interpreting Sartre as practising a variant of phenomenological method. I first clarify Sartre’s approach to phenomenological method by comparing and contrasting it with Husserl’s. Despite agreeing that philosophy is a reflective descriptive study of essences, Sartre sees no use for phenomenological reduction and free variation. I then consider the philosophical function of Sartre’s literary works, (...) arguing that, although these cannot reliably convey philosophical theories, their significance lies in describing concrete situations that ground reflective theoretical concepts. However, this grounding function can be understood only if Sartre is seen as realising Husserl’s phenomenological method – including phenomenological reduction and free variation – more fully than he acknowledges. Finally, I address two challenges to my view and briefly assess the value of literary phenomenology as a philosophical method. (shrink)
Fascination with quotidian experience in modern art, literature, and philosophy promotes ecstatic forms of reflection on the very structure of the everyday world. Gosetti-Ferencei examines the ways in which modern art and literature enable a study of how we experience quotidian life. She shows that modernism, while exhibiting many strands of development, can be understood by investigating how its attentions to perception and expectation, to the common quality of things, or to childhood play gives way to experiences of (...) _ecstasis_—the stepping outside of the ordinary familiarity of the world. While phenomenology grounds this study, what makes this book more than a treatise on phenomenological aesthetics is the way in which modernity itself is examined in its relation to the quotidian. Through the works of artists and writers such as Benjamin, Cézanne, Frost, Klee, Newman, Pollock, Ponge, Proust, Rilke, Robbe-Grillet, Rothko, Sartre, and Twombly, the world of quotidian life can be seen to harbor a latent _ecstasis._ The breakdown of the quotidian through and after modernism then becomes an urgent question for understanding art and literature in its capacity to further human experience, and it points to the limits of phenomenological explications of the everyday. (shrink)
"Alterity and Criticism: Retracing Time in Modern Literature" argues that the role of time in canonical literature underlies the experience of alterity and requires a new hermeneutic to clarify how the self emerges in literary texts. Romantic poetry from Goethe to Shelley and the modern prose tradition from Flaubert to Butor constitute different traditions but also indicate, on a textual basis, how alterity is crucial to reading, thus encouraging us to interpret literary texts in terms of the related (...) concerns of self, other and time. This volume engages in discussions of cultural semiotics and late phenomenology, and provides insights into how modern literature provides one way of assessing the possibility of World Literature for our own time. It will be of interest to students and scholars of both literature and philosophy. (shrink)
The language theory of Mikhail Bakhtin does not fall neatly under any single rubric - 'dialogism,' 'marxism,' 'prosaics,' 'authorship' - because the philosophic foundation of his writing rests ambivalently between phenomenology and Marxism. The theoretical tension of these positions creates philosophical impasses in Bakhtin's work, which have been neglected or ignored partly because these impasses are themselves mirrored by the problems of antifoundationalist and materialist tendencies in literary scholarship. In Mikhail Bakhtin: Between Phenomenology and Marxism Michael Bernard-Donals examines (...) various incarnations of phenomenological and materialist theory - including the work of Jauss, Fish, Rorty, Althusser, and Pecheux - and places them beside Bakhtin's work, providing a contextualised study of Bakhtin, a critique of the problems of contemporary critics, and an original contribution to literary theory. (shrink)
Stevens and the phenomenology of value : philosophical poetry and the demands of modernity -- Harmonium as a modernist text -- Ghostlier demarcations, keener sounds : the parts negation plays in developing a new poetic -- How Stevens uses the grammar of as -- Aspectual thinking -- Stevens' tragic mode : why the angel must disappear in Angel surrounded by paysans -- Aspect-seeing and its implications in The rock.