Despite the apparent ubiquity of light literature, and despite the greater cultural prestige it has been afforded in recent decades, very little has been written on the adjective that actually defines this category. What, precisely, does it signify, and what are some of the key strategies by which the effect of lightness is achieved within literary discourse? In this original and engaging study, Bede Scott explores the aesthetic quality of lightness as demonstrated by a diverse range of narratives - spanning four different centuries and five different countries. In each case he focuses on a specific 'type' of lightness, whether it be the refined triviality of Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book, the ludic tendencies of Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis' Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas, or the 'exhilarating and primitive vitality' of Voltaire's Candide. By bringing together such disparate sources, Scott makes a strong case for the universality of this particular aesthetic value, while also subjecting to close critical scrutiny its underlying structural features.
Recognition and Ethics in World Literature is a critical comparative study of contemporary world literature, focusing on the importance of the ethical turn (or return) in literary theory. The book examines the ethical engagement of novels by Amitav Ghosh, Chimamanda Adichie, Caryl Phillips, Kazuo Ishiguro, Zadie Smith, and J. M. Coetzee, exploring the overlap and divergence between Levinasian/Derridean and Aristotelian ethics. Recognitions and emotional responses are integral to the unfolding of ethical concerns, and the ethics they explore are often marked by the complexity and impurity characteristic of the tragic. Recognition is particularly suitable for the concerns of world literature authors in its interconnection of the universal and the particular—a binary that has been crucial in postcolonialism and remains important for the wider field of world literature. This study builds its analysis around three broad themes: religion, the memory of violence, and the human.
This study recovers Italo Calvino's central place in a lost history of interdisciplinary thought, politics, and literary philosophy in the 1960s. Drawing on his letters, essays, critical reviews, and fiction, as well as a wide range of works -- primarily urban planning and design theory and history -- circulating among his primary interlocutors, this book takes as its point of departure a sweeping reinterpretation of Invisible Cities. Passages from Calvino's most famous novel routinely appear as aphorisms in calendars, posters, and the popular literature of inspiration and self-help, reducing the novel to vague abstractions and totalizing wisdom about thinking outside the box. The shadow of postmodern studies has had a similarly diminishing effect on this text, rendering up an accomplished but ultimately apolitical novelistic experimentation in endless deconstructive deferrals, the shiny surfaces of play, and the ultimately rigged game of self-referentiality. In contrast, this study draws on an archive of untranslated Italian- and French-language materials on urban planning, architecture, and utopian architecture to argue that Calvino's novel in fact introduces readers to the material history of urban renewal in Italy, France, and the U.S. in the 1960s, as well as the multidisciplinary core of cultural life in that decade: the complex and continuous interplay among novelists and architects, scientists and artists, literary historians and visual studies scholars. His last love poem for the dying city was in fact profoundly engaged, deeply committed to the ethical dimensions of both architecture and lived experience in the spaces of modernity as well as the resistant practices of reading and utopian imagining that his urban studies in turn inspired.
On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media Culture presents a polyphonic account of mutual interpenetrations of literature and new media, highlighting the impact of digital culture on the user experience and the modes of social communication and interaction.
The depiction of personal and collective suffering in modern Chinese novels differs significantly from standard Communist accounts and many Eastern and Western historical narratives. Writers such as Yu Hua, Su Tong, Wang Anyi, Mo Yan, Han Shaogong, Ge Fei, Li Rui, and Zhang Wei skew and scramble common conceptions of China's modern development, deploying avant-garde narrative techniques from Latin American and Euro-American modernism to project a surprisingly "un-Chinese" dystopian vision and critical view of human culture and ethics. The epic narratives of modern Chinese fiction make rich use of magical realism, surrealism, and unusual treatments of historical time. Also featuring graphic depictions of sex and violence, as well as dark, raunchy comedy, these novels reflect China's recent history re-presenting the overthrow of the monarchy in the early twentieth century and the resulting chaos of revolution and war; the recurring miseries perpetrated by class warfare during the dictatorship of Mao Zedong; and the social dislocations caused by China's industrialization and rise as a global power. This book casts China's highbrow historical novels from the late 1980s to the first decade of the twenty-first century as a distinctively Chinese contribution to the form of the global dystopian novel and, consequently, to global thinking about the interrelations of utopia and dystopia.
The Passions of the Soul in the Onto-Poiesis of Life
Author: Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
The dialectic of light and darkness studied in this collection of essays reveals itself as a primal factor of life as well as the essential element of the specifically human world. From its borderline position between physis and psyche, natural growth and techne, bios and ethos, it functions as the essential factor in all the sectors of life at large. We see its crucial role in all sectors of life while, prompted by man's creative imagination, it enhances and spurs his vital as well as societal and spiritual life. This rare collection contains studies by Thomas Ryba, Krystina Górniak-Kocikowska, Lois Oppenheim, Sydney Feshback, Eldon van Lieve, Sitansu Ray, Theodore Litman, Peter Morgan, Colette Michael, Christopher Lalonde, L. Findlay, Christopher Eykman, Beverly Schlack Randles, Jorge García-Gómez, William Haney, Sherilyn Abdoo, David Brottman, Alan Pratt, Hans Rudnick, George Scheper, Freema Gottlieb, Marlies Kronegger.