"What is Literature?" challenges anyone who writes as if literature could be extricated from history or society. But Sartre does more than indict. He offers a definitive statement about the phenomenology of reading, and he goes on to provide a dashing example of how to write a history of literature that takes ideology and institutions into account.
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In this volume, Mario Klarer provides the essential beginner's guide to English literary studies. Offering a concise, easy-to-understand discussion of central issues in the study of literary texts, looking at: definitions of key terms such as 'literature' and 'text' major genres, such as fiction, poetry, drama and film periods and classifications of literature theoretical approaches to texts the use of secondary resources guidelines for writing research essays. Klarer has fully updated the highly successful first edition to provide greater guidance for online research and to reflect recent changes to MLA guidelines for referencing and quoting sources. He concludes with suggestions for further reading and an extensive glossary of important literary and cinematic terms.
Literary Theory: A Very Short Introduction offers insights into theories about the nature of language and meaning, human identity, and the power of language. Fully updated for 2011 and including a new chapter on 'Ethics and aesthetics', it steers a clear and lucid path through an often impenetrable subject.
French existentialist philosopher Sartreexplores the phenomenology of literature, focusing on the role of the artist as moral actor In Jean-Paul Sartre’s What Is Literature?, the renowned French philosopher explains his concept of the “committed” writer, linking authorship with moral responsibility. In the aftermath of World War II, Sartre argues that writing prose is a conscious act of freedom that addresses other independent humans who might be in situations of “unfreedom.” Sartre goes on to analyze the relationship between the writer and the reader, as well as the writer and “the public.” In Sartre’s view, art (literature included) is the purest way in which we practice freedom. In addition to a discussion of twentieth-century French literature, Sartre critiques surrealism and communism, while above all calling for writers to care about their art. Providing remarkable insight into the world of existential thought, reading, and writing, What Is Literature? is a vital text for any writer, philosopher, or thinker.
Literature provides us with otherwise unavailable insights into the ways emotions are produced, experienced and enacted in human social life. It is particularly valuable because it deepens our comprehension of the mutual relations between emotional response and ethical judgment. These are the central claims of Hogan's study, which carefully examines a range of highly esteemed literary works in the context of current neurobiological, psychological, sociological and other empirical research. In this work, he explains the value of literary study for a cognitive science of emotion and outlines the emotional organization of the human mind. He explores the emotions of romantic love, grief, mirth, guilt, shame, jealousy, attachment, compassion and pity - in each case drawing on one work by Shakespeare and one or more works by writers from different historical periods or different cultural backgrounds, such as the eleventh-century Chinese poet Li Ch'ing-Chao and the contemporary Nigerian playwright Wole Soyinka.
Words with Power is the crowning achievement of the latter half of Northrop Frye's career. Portions of the work can be found in Frye's notebooks as far back as the mid-1960s when he had just finished Anatomy of Criticism, and he completed the book shortly before his death in 1991. Beyond summing up his ideas about the relation of the Bible to Western culture, Words with Power boldly confronts a host of questions ranging from the relationship between literature and ideology to the real meaning of words like 'spirit' and 'faith.' The first half of the 'double mirror' structure looks at the language in which the Bible is written, arguing that it is identical to that of myth and metaphor. Frye suggests, therefore, that given this characteristic, the Bible should be read imaginatively rather than historically or doctrinally. However, he is also careful to point out the ways in which the Bible is more than a conventional work of fiction. The second half is an astonishing tour de force in which Frye demonstrates how both the Bible and literature revolve around four primary concerns of human life. This edition goes beyond the original in its documentation of Frye's dazzlingly encyclopedic range of reference. Profound and searching, Words with Power is perhaps the most daring book of Frye's career and one of the most exciting.
This book redefines the nature of textual difficulty in literature and shows the implications of the new definition for teachers at all levels of education. Contrary to the traditional use of grade levels or readability formulae, the authors redefine difficulty in terms of readers and the texts they meet. They base their arguments on contemporary linguistic theory, on historical and comparative studies of criticism, on literary theory about readers and texts, on post-Freudian psychology, on empirical research concerning the nature of reading literature, and on studies of classrooms, curricula, and testing. What emerges is a coherent work that builds a case for seeing difficulty in literature as a human phenomenon more than a textual one.
What is this thing called literature? Why should we study it? And how? Relating literature to topics such as dreams, politics, life, death, the ordinary and the uncanny, this beautifully written book establishes a sense of why and how literature is an exciting and rewarding subject to study. Bennett and Royle delicately weave an essential love of literature into an account of what literary texts do, how they work and what sort of questions and ideas they provoke. The book’s three parts reflect the fundamental components of studying literature: reading, thinking and writing. The authors use helpful, familiar examples throughout, offering rich reflections on the question ‘What is literature?’ and on what they term ‘creative reading’. Bennett and Royle’s lucid and friendly style encourages a deep engagement with literary texts. This book is not only an essential guide to the study of literature, but an eloquent defence of the discipline.
The most authoritative history of writing from England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland across the twentieth century.