This book is not only a major twentieth-century contribution to Dostoevsky’s studies, but also one of the most important theories of the novel produced in our century. As a modern reinterpretation of poetics, it bears comparison with Aristotle.“Bakhtin’s statement on the dialogical nature of artistic creation, and his differentiation of this from a history of monological commentary, is profoundly original and illuminating. This is a classic work on Dostoevsky and a statement of importance to critical theory.” Edward Wasiolek“Concentrating (...) on the particular features of ‘Dostoevskian discourse,’ how Dostoevsky structures a hero and a plot, and what it means to write dialogically, Bakhtin concludes with a major theoretical statement on dialogue as a category of language. One of the most important theories of the novel in this century.” The Bloomsbury Review. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: 1. Poetry: the roots of a problem; 2. A radical solution: Plato's Republic; 3. The natural history of poetry: Aristotle; 4. Ways to find truth in falsehood; 5. The marriage of Homer and Plato.
Combining literary and philosophical analysis, this study defends an utterly innovative reading of the early history of poetics. It is the first to argue that there is a distinctively Socratic view of poetry and the first to connect the Socratic view of poetry with earlier literary tradition.Literary theory is usually said to begin with Plato's famous critique of poetry in the Republic. Grace Ledbetter challenges this entrenched assumption by arguing that Plato's earlier dialogues Ion, Protagoras, and Apology introduce (...) a distinctively Socratic theory of poetry that responds polemically to traditional poets as rival theorists. Ledbetter tracks the sources of this Socratic response by introducing separate readings of the poetics implicit in the poetry of Homer, Hesiod, and Pindar. Examining these poets' theories from a new angle that uncovers their literary, rhetorical, and political aims, she demonstrates their decisive influence on Socratic thinking about poetry.The Socratic poetics Ledbetter elucidates focuses not on censorship, but on the interpretation of poetry as a source of moral wisdom. This philosophical approach to interpreting poetry stands at odds with the poets' own theories--and with the Sophists' treatment of poetry. Unlike the Republic's focus on exposing and banishing poetry's irrational and unavoidably corrupting influence, Socrates' theory includes poetry as subject matter for philosophical inquiry within an examined life.Reaching back into what has too long been considered literary theory's prehistory, Ledbetter advances arguments that will redefine how classicists, philosophers, and literary theorists think about Plato's poetics. (shrink)
Garrod, Smith and the contributors of the volume envisage the longue durée poetics of an early modern genre. They interpret its poetics alongside its various epistemic agenda and make a case for the literary status of natural history.
Heidegger's interpretations of the poetry of Hölderlin are central to Heidegger's later philosophy and have determined the mainstream reception of Hölderlin's poetry. Gosetti-Ferencei argues that Heidegger has overlooked central elements in Hölderlin's poetics, such as a Kantian understanding of aesthetic subjectivity and a commitment to Enlightenment ideals. These elements, she argues, resist the more politically distressing aspects of Heidegger's interpretations, including Heidegger's nationalist valorization of the German language and sense of nationhood, or Heimat.In the context of Hölderlin's poetics (...) of alienation, exile, and wandering, Gosetti-Ferencei draws a different model of poetic subjectivity, which engages Heidegger's later philosophy of Gelassenheit, calmness, or letting be. In so doing, she is able to pose a phenomenologically sensitive theory of poetic language and a "new poetics of Dasein," or being there. (shrink)
This chapter will examine Smith’s views on poetics with particular attention to their relationship to his broader social theoretical concerns with conjectural history. I argue that history and poetics cannot be clearly separated in Smith’s system, and therefore that Smith’s poetics must be approached through his understanding of history and historiography and their reliance on fact as he conceives it as part of the science of man. Poetry becomes an interesting anomaly within this system (...) in that Smith harbours some anxiety over poetry’s capability, based on its form, to relate the facts of the science of human nature to its readers and thus provide them with moral education. (shrink)
Aristotle’s Poetics is the first philosophical account of an art form and is the foundational text in the history of aesthetics. The Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Aristotle and the Poetics is an accessible guide to this often dense and cryptic work. Angela Curran introduces and assesses: Aristotle’s life and the background to the Poetics the ideas and text of the Poetics , including mimēsis ; poetic technē; the definition of tragedy; the elements of poetic composition; (...) the Poetics’ recommendations for tragic plot patterns; catharsis ; epic and comedy; the nature of our emotional response to drama; the proper pleasure of tragedy; and the role that art plays in a human life the relevance of Aristotle’s work in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and philosophical psychology to the Poetics a comparison of Plato and Aristotle on the value of mimetic art the continuing importance of Aristotle’s Poetics to contemporary philosophy, aesthetics, and philosophy of film. (shrink)
This paper explores space as a core source of aesthetic pleasure in various codes of football. The paper begins by applying Kant’s distinction between the agreeable and the pleasurable to sport, arguing that the appreciation of sport entails more than just excitement. Pleasure comes from an appreciation of the rules, strategies and history of the game. The significance of the rules of various codes of football in articulating our experience of space will be taken as fundamental to such appreciation. (...) Drawing on the phenomenology of Merleau-Ponty and the ‘topoanalysis’ of Gaston Bachelard, it will be argued that the aesthetic appreciation of football lies, not simply in recognising the complexity and subtlety of the movement of players and ball about the pitch, but more significantly in the creative and poetic imagination that the player embodies, and the striving of the player to create places within the course of play within which they can exercise their own competence as a player, and inhibit the compete.. (shrink)
History, according to Aristotle, relates "things that happen ; whereas poetry's function is to relate the kinds of things that happen—that is, are possible in terms of probability or necessity."1 A generic clause, expressing "the kinds of things that happen" to certain kinds of agents, distinguishes the task of the poet from that of the historian.2 History speaks of "particulars," whereas poetry speaks more of "universals." A historian might assert, for example, that Alcibiades urged the Athenians to invade (...) Sicily, or that he was later exiled, and finally murdered; whereas a poet would use Alcibiades's story to show the kind of person to whom things of that kind are likely or bound to... (shrink)
'Pataphysics: The Poetics of an Imaginary Science is a survey that attempts to describe a hypothetic philosophy--the avant-garde pseudo-science imagined by Alfred Jarry. 'Pataphysics is a supplement to metaphysics, accenting it, then replacing it, in order to create a philosophic alternative, whose discipline can study cases, not of conception, but of exception: variance , alliance , and deviance . 'Pataphysics synthesizes the romantic schism between a literal, scientized discourse and a figural, poeticized discourse, and my thesis suggests that this (...) revision of the signifier "science" by 'pataphysics is symptomatic of a postmodern transition in science from a paradigm of absolutism to a paralogy of relativism. Structured as a descriptive explication, which emphasizes a theoretical perspective, this survey is divided into five chapters: the first chapter recounts the history of the conflict between science and poetry ; the second chapter examines the avant-garde pseudo-science of 'pataphysics itself ; and finally, the last three chapters discuss the influence of 'pataphysics upon the poetics of its subsequent successors . While my thesis focuses upon theories of textual poetics rather than poetry itself , my thesis does nevertheless strive to be as conceptually encyclopedic as 'pataphysics itself: instead of normalizing 'pataphysics within one theoretical perspective, this survey alludes intermittently to 'pataphysical enterprises that constitute exceptions to such a genealogy of Jarryites. What is at stake is the status of poetry in a world of science. How might poetry reclaim its own viable truth? How might science benefit from its own poetic irony? For the postmodern condition, such questions have already opened up a novel space for speculative imagination; hence, this survey presents itself as a kind of primer for a future of possible research. (shrink)
Recognizing newness is a difficult task in any intellectual history, and different cultures have gauged and evaluated novelty in different ways. In this paper we ponder the status of innovation in the context of the somewhat unusual history of one Sanskrit knowledge system, that of poetics, and try to define what in the methodology, views, style, and self-awareness of Sanskrit literary theorists in the early modern period was new. The paper focuses primarily on one thinker, Jagannātha Paṇḍitarāja, (...) the most famous and influential author on poetics in the seventeenth century, and his relationship with his important sixteenth-century predecessor, Appayya Dīkṣita. We discuss Jagannātha’s complex system of labeling of ideas as “new” and “old,” the new essay style that he used to chart the evolution of ideas in his tradition, his notion of himself as an independent thinker capable of improving the system created by his predecessors in order to protect its essential assets, and the reasons his critique of Appayya was so harsh. For both scholars what emerges as new is not so much their opinions on particular topics as the new ways in which they position themselves in relation to their system. (shrink)
continent. 1.2 (2011): 70-75. cartography of ghosts . . . And as a way to talk . . . of temporality the topography of imagination, this body whose dirty entry into the articulation of history as rapturous becoming & unbecoming, greeted with violence, i take permission to extend this grace —Akilah Oliver from “An Arriving Guard of Angels Thusly Coming To Greet” Our disappearance is already here. —Jacques Derrida, 117 I wrestled with death as a threshold, an aporia, a (...) bandit, a part of life. —Akilah Oliver Moraine in geological lingo is that which is left behind. Moraine- a euphemism for the de-stabilizing referent of the writer-ly body as a “troubled and troubling landscape marked by cultural and historical signifiers, the body as flesh memory [...] the body as transitory” (Oliver, Author Statement). Moraine— a geological metaphor of the poet as a holder of memory, as an accumulation of rocks and debris carried along the edge, terminal, dropped at the foot of language (in language). “Flesh Memory” according to Akilah Oliver is "that which my body recalls [...] everything has to do with the task of remembrance and its narrative reinvention [...] I was always translating an idea of the world as it presented itself at any given time. To write was a choice about how to be seen, how to enter the world as translator, actor, participant, in the dialogues that apparently made the real 'real'" (Levitsky). Flesh. Memory. The stuff some poems are made from. The stuff that gets abandoned, gleaned, and picked up by more flesh and memory. "My body, my life has always felt like a kaleidoscopic rip in the dominant fabric [...] has always been a dialogue with the impossible and the apparent” (Levitsky). The impossible-body or poet's body anticipates and performs (through language) an irretrievable death. IN APORIA I realized everything I must have been doing must have been Death. It was Christmas or Labor Day—a holiday—and every time you turned on the radio they said something like ‘four million’ or ‘going to die’.” — Andy Warhol I’m trying on egos, [a justification for the planet’s continuance]. Oh hello transgressor, you’ve come to collect utilitarian debts, humbling narrative space. Give me condition and wheatgrass, I his body disintegrating. I his body is ossification. Death my habit radius, yeah yeah. I his body can’t refuse this summons. I can’t get out this fucking room. Tell me something different about torture dear Trickster. Tell me about the lightness my mother told me to pick the one i love the best how it signals everything I ever wish to believe true just holy on my ship. I jump all over this house. this is it [what I thought is thought only, nothing more deceptive than]: I his body keeps thinking someone will come along, touch me. As like human or lima bean. I’m cradling you to my breast, you are looking out. A little wooden lion you & Peter carve on Bluff Street is quieting across your cheekbone. Not at all like the kind of terror found in sleep, on trembling grounds. It is yesterday now. I have not had a chance to dance in this century. Tonight I shall kill someone, a condition to remember Sunday morning. To think of lives as repetitions [rather than singular serial incarnations]. To understand your death is as exacerbating as trying to figure out why as schoolchildren in mid-nineteen-sixties Southern California we performed reflexive motions: cutting out lace snowflakes, reading Dick and Jane search for their missing mittens, imagining snow. Disintegrat ing . The -ing gerund catapults from the non-finite verb into past, present, future. The -ing as a tail pinned to death, a dog spinning to bite and never fully reaching itself, always shy of the end, circumreferential; a double copulative: deathing. Possessively AO calls it “habit radius” (a virtual fetish attribute) or an inescapable death presence that “confronts us with the paradox of an unattainable object [...] through it’s being unattainable” (Agamben, 27). A flirtation or dialogue with an unknowable thing and aporia utilized as investigative instrument to engage (death) while (in Southern California) we “perform reflexive motions,” cut lace snowflakes, imagine snow, and pay rent like “yeah, yeah” what else is new. And this too, fiction. The book I wish to right. The restored fallen, heroic. Did you expect a different grace from the world? Or upon exit? I’m working on “tough.” They think I am already. All ready. Who is the dead person? Is "I'm sorry" real to a dead person? Browning grass. My hands on this table. A contentious century. A place to pay rent. Redemptive moments. Am I now the dead person? Dead person, dead person, will you partake in my persimmon feast? The body inside the body astounds, confesses sins of the funhouse. I too have admired the people of this planet. Their frilly, orderly intellects. The use they’ve made of cardamom, radiation as well. How they’ve pasteurized milk, loaned surnames to stars, captured tribes, diseases, streets, and ideas too. The living-body as archive: is it possible to experience the living-body as archive without a (kind of) death? Sifting the rubble, rummaging through hoarded debris, skin sheds, memory-napping, and re-awoken (in flesh and) on terrain. “An investigative poetics seeks to unravel staid communities of thought and grasp at what might always be just beyond reach; a poetics of inquiry that lies between language as meaning, and language as rapturous entry into the world of posited ideas and idealism”( Levitsky). Something snaps. Lights blow out prior to embarking upon an investigative poetics. It begins with a question (often a sexy aporia) that leads to openings. "Every politics of memory [...] implies an intervention of the state. It's a state that legislates and acts with regard to the nonfinite mass of materials to be stored, materials which must be collected, preserved” (Derrida & Stiegler, 62). It seems poetic investigation already contains the potentiality of an (invisible) archive if the writer is “always writing” especially when not. Here’s my stupid digital romantic inclination: the living-body (of a poet) is a self-sustaining archive of non-finite memories. But not even I really believe that. AO innovated and sculpted an investigative poetic praxis. In a conversation with poet Rachel Levitsky, poetic-voice is viewed not as a precious identifier, but as a means to think through/about form, concluding that form is linked to framing. While poetic-voice may have tendency to precede form, it also erupts as a result of framing techniques. “They are frames that hold the shape of thinking (which is also to say of imagining) [...].”7 This reminds me of my rabbit who symmetrically chewed the corners of his hutch, which makes me wonder if it’s an expression of the shape of some animal anxiety tick I won’t ever have access to. Beyond the form/frame, death is an unoriginal yet unique limit; death is a damn deathless thing. It functions as a source of poetic investigation; that thing always “just beyond reach.” And how is death not a fetish (in this case an obsessive reverence for something non-material)? “Insofar as it [death] is a presence, a fetish [...] it is in fact something concrete and tangible; but insofar as it is the presence of an absence, it is, at the same time, immaterial and intangible, because it alludes continuously beyond itself to something that can never really be possessed [...] The fetish is [...] a sign of an absence, it is not an unrepeatable unique object; on the contrary, it is something infinitely capable of substitution, without any successive incarnations ever succeeding in exhausting the nullity of which it is the symbol” (Agamben, 33). AO utilized absence (the absent body [catapulted by the death of a beloved]) as an apparatus to investigate. In the process of conversing with absence or that which is absent, the absent body is affectionately objectified, incessantly summonsed back to a place of recognition, of objects, a desire for the absent body to remain intact while exiting the structural limits of grammar and syntax by moving into chant forms “to say what cannot be said” (Levitsky). from AN ARRIVING GUARD OF ANGELS THUSLY COMING TO GREET dear oluchi- the light is blinking rapidly on the black boxy machine. your room seems bigger than before and i am still planning to read some of those robert jordan books of yours. yesterday at the used bookstore where i was browsing the mysteries to “stall reality” (they are really not mysteries at all, they just employ death as the plot mistress but are unable to grasp its mystery at all)—well the point is, things were calm down here for a while and the world was little. i want to be big like you. or i want you not vast, not dead, not gone, but human small and here. i am so selfish. that is what i really want. to see you again. to oil your scalp. to hear you walk in the door, say ma i’m home . give me a chance to say welcome home son. or when leaving, don’t forget your hat . what do you wear out there? i wish you could have taken your new shoes with you. i’m so proud of you. i’m sorry for the way you died. i miss you all the time. even before, i missed you. out there, one time, some different men said: “shake for me girl, i wanna be your backdoor man.” who dat you love. 5/18/03 A letter-poem in sixteen lines “dear oluchi-” is safe-housed in epistolary form. Poetic voice is rendered as internal thought meanderings, a not-so-much confession, private/(pillow?) talk in the desire to be heard/witnessed by the referent and reader with an intent to absolve. The diminutive “i” bears a relation to poet Fanny Howe’s “little g God” in that “One of the (many) things I like about little g God is that you can have a vodka tonic while you talk to little g God, sing along to Bowie’s “I’m Afraid Of Americans,” and hum Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” though maybe not all at the same time” (Oliver, 2009). Towards the middle of the poem AO is at a used bookstore and remarks on the funny employment of death as a ‘plot mistress’ that ‘they’ (the dubious employed mystery authors) are ‘unable to grasp’, thereby giving death a mouthpiece, a modeling job, something to do to pass the time. from THE VISIBLE UNSEEN When I first saw graffiti, I recognized in it an ugly aesthetic, a dialectics of violence, a distortion of limbs, a hieroglyph. It was only later when I read the names of the dead that I then saw the path of ghosts charted there; its narrative of loss for the visible unseen whose place in history has been fictionalized and rendered unseen under the totalizing glare of history. Inscriptions, traces, specters. Graffiti begs a public face just as ghosts require non-ghosts (humans) to sense them. The “visible unseen” is a game of hide-and-seek between public viewer and graffiti-inscriber, an ephemeral-violent aesthetic on an ephemeral-policed canvas. Graffiti-inscribers already submit to being forgotten, expect to be washed away; perhaps it’s a holy urban mandala created by gangster-type monks without Buddhism. [...] in its refusal to disappear it forces a discourse in the public imagination we are forced to see what we would rather not, to make sense of an encoded language that we cannot read on the level of meaning. it irritates, forces its agency on us, speaks outside and beyond semiotic reach. An epic font-size pervading the public’s imagination, illegible, I could just close my eyes, remain passive, drive past, abandon it beyond reach, push it further away beyond death walls. In Barcelona I watched a clean up crew wash walls with an awesome water hose but I was more intrigued by their bodies; not a distortion of limbs, not hieroglyph but also not entirely legible; the laboring body permanently erasing specters of the city, and of course they knew it was also an invitation for the ghosts to return. Graffiti is death’s little sister, is also an aporia. [...] Graffiti (fr GK -graph(os), something drawn or written, to diagram or chart) attempts to stage the impossible: to erase the essence of its own subjectivity. Graffiti is a cartography of ghosts, a mapping of elegiac rapture (the transporting of a person from one place to another, as in heaven) and rupture (the state of being broken open.) Dwelling is a fiction stasis. [...] The notion of the past as being something done with, a look-back event, inhibits the possibility of reading graffiti as rapture, as rupture. If graffiti posits history as always in the process of becoming undone. [...] Because what is the body, if not also a complex temple, an unstable site through which to negotiate subjects, materiality, economies, gods, and modes of representations? The site where we are all already belated. Graphein meaning “to write.” “Derrida says every archive makes a law, and the law of genre is its own rupture” (Bloch, 39). However, graffiti is an (non/anti)-archive of erasure due to (the politics of) washing out its subjectivity, which only adds onto (or is symptomatic of) its character. The inhibition of “reading graffiti as rapture, as rupture” is partly due to it being a “look-back” event in that it’s process involves scratching through layers to reveal previous specters underneath. Graffiti (as an ancient genre) has always been a thing of ‘becoming undone’, and therefore ‘belated and always in arrival’ (Levitsky). It’s a Dionysian activity done at night with it’s back turned toward us. "The specter [...] is of the visible, but of the invisible visible, it is the visibility of a body which is not present in flesh and blood [...] appearing for vision, to the brightness of day [...] something becomes almost visible which is visible only insofar as it is not visible in flesh and blood. It is a night visibility. As soon as there is a technology of the image, visibility brings night. It incarnates in a night body, it radiates in a night light" (Derrida & Stiegler, 115). (shrink)
This is a general reading of Callimachus' work within the socio-political context of Ptolemaic Alexandria. "Alibis" refers to the constitutionally expatriate nature of the populace and culture established there, which in Callimachus gives rise to a poetics based on the principles of displacement and convergence. Close analysis of a wide variety of passages, drawn principally from the epigrams, Aetia, and Hymns, demonstrates how the "order of the alibi" informs all major aspects of the poet's work, from the lexical make-up (...) of his texts to their larger narrative and thematic structure. Certain poems in the corpus, such as the Lock of Berenice and the Hymn to Apollo, not only require detailed knowledge of Greek literature, history, and religious institutions, but also draw extensively on Egyptian mythography and cultural models, which do not so much replace the Hellenic matter as-characteristically-cohabit with it. In this respect, Callimachus served both as a key architect of the new, multi-ethnic culture that the Ptolemies institutionalized in Egypt and as its most penetrating critic. (shrink)
This book examines Greek engagements with the past as articulations of memory formulated against the contingency of chance associated with temporality. Based on a phenomenological understanding of temporality, it identifies four memorializing strategies: continuity , regularity , development, and acceptance of chance. This framework serves in pursuing a twofold aim: to reconstruct the literary field of memory in fifth-century bce Greece; and to interpret Greek historiography as a memorializing mode. The key contention advanced by this approach is that acts of (...) memory entailed an “idea of history” that was articulated not only in historiography, but also in epinician poetry, elegy, tragedy, and oratory. The book offers a rich account of poetic conventions and contexts through which each of these genres counterbalanced contingency through the use of exemplary and traditional modes of memory. This fine analysis highlights the grip of the present on the past as a significant feature of both historiographical and nonhistoriographical genres.The essay argues that this work fills a disciplinary gap by extending the reflection on memory to a new period, Greek antiquity. The retrospective positioning of this period at the outset of Western historical thought brings Grethlein's investigation to the center of debates about memory, temporality, and the meaning history. In engaging with the book's argument, the essay suggests that historiographical memory emerged in Greece not as a first-order encounter with time, but as a second-order encounter with forgetting. This confrontation marked a certain separation of historiography from other memorializing genres. Whereas poetic and rhetorical memories were posited against contingency, historiography sought to retrieve those aspects of the past that may otherwise have been irretrievably lost and forgotten. In doing so, it formulated the historiographical imperative as a negation of forgetting that problematized the truth-value of memory and the very act of remembering the past. (shrink)