By Gregory Jusdanis

ISBN-10: 0804768757

ISBN-13: 9780804768757

ISBN-10: 0804768765

ISBN-13: 9780804768764

ISBN-10: 0804773769

ISBN-13: 9780804773768

In this path-breaking new paintings, Gregory Jusdanis asks why literature issues. Why are we afraid to confess our pleasures of studying, to safeguard the humanities to the varsity board, to debate the significance of literature in lifestyles? Drawing on a wealth of references from Aristophanes to Eudora Welty, from Fernando Pessoa to Orhan Pamuk, from Cavafy to hypertext tales, Jusdanis reminds us that the humanities have constantly been below assault. rather than depression, even if, he deals a practical security of literature, arguing that it plays a social functionality in dramatizing the holiday among phantasm and truth, lifestyles and the life-like, permanence and metamorphosis. the power to differentiate among the particular and the imaginary is key to people. Our means to visualize anything new, to venture ourselves into the brain of someone else, and to struggle for a brand new international relies in this contrast. Literature permits us to visualize trade chances of human relationships and political associations, even within the watery global of the web. without delay bold and lucid, Fiction Agonistes considers where of paintings this day with ardour and optimism.

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Additional resources for Fiction agonistes : in defense of literature

Sample text

Art’s Apology 21 In the first section (Book III) of the Republic Plato was concerned with the education of the commonwealth’s “Guardians,” specifically the selection of appropriate “literary” material for this purpose. He found that the staple of pedagogical texts—Homer, the lyric poets, the dramatists—was unsatisfactory because they were either engaged in falsehoods or disrespectfully represented the divine: “Then we must not only compel our poets, on pain of expulsion, to make their poetry the express image of noble character; we must also supervise craftsmen of every kind and forbid them to leave the stamp of baseness, license, meanness, on painting and sculpture, or building, or any other work of their hands” ([III 401] 1945: 90).

This is what Kant meant with the idea of disinterestedness. Once we engage with other people about our aesthetic experience, however, this experience enters the social realm. Art as Social Space This private/public duality is reflected in the historical rise of art. The Kantian isolation of the aesthetic occurred in tandem with the social differentiation of art in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Rather than imposing the concept of aesthetic autonomy on reality, philosophers witnessed and helped promote this institutionalization.

More recently other theorists have written on this relentless spread of consumer culture into every social nook. Under the pressures of postFordist capitalism, Jean Baudrillard has shown, culture has dissipated ubiquitously, no longer locatable in one place such as the university, the opera, or the gallery (1994: 149; 1981). Modern society, Terry Eagleton has argued, has been aestheticized, infiltrated by an aesthetic ideology that fosters a “non-coercive consensus” (1990: 97). 15 Likewise, the French sociologist, Michel Maffesoli believes that the aesthetic has become a shared sentiment binding us together.

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