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.
"If Bakhtin is right," Wayne C. Booth has said, "a very great deal of what we western critics have spent our time on is mistaken, or trivial, or both." In Literature and Spirit David Patterson proceeds from the premise that Bakhtin is right. Exploring Bakhtin's notions of spirit, responsibility, and dialogue, Patterson takes his reader from the narrow arena of literary criticism to the larger realm of human living and human loving. True to the spirit of Bakhtin, he draws the Russian into a vibrant dialogue with other thinkers, including Foucault, Berdyaev, Gide, Lacan, Levinas, and Heidegger. But he does not stop there. He engages Bakhtin in his own insightful and unique dialogue, meeting the responsibility and taking the risk summoned by dialogue. Literature and Spirit, therefore, is not a typically cool and detached exercise in academic curiosity. Instead, it is a passionate and penetrating endeavor to respond to literature and spirit as the links in life's attachment to life. The author demonstrates that in deciding something about literature, we decide something about the substance and meaning of our lives. Far from being a question of commentary or explication, he argues, our relation to literature is a matter of spiritual life and death. The reader who comes before a literary text encounters the human voice. And Patterson enables his reader to hear that voice in all its spiritual dimensions. Unique in its questions and in its quest, Literature and Spirit addresses an audience that goes beyond the ordinary academic categories. It appeals not only to students of literature, philosophy, and religion, but to anyone who seeks an understanding of spiritual presence and meaning in life. Through his affirmation of what is dear, Patterson responds to the needful question. And in his response he puts the question to his audience: Where are you? Literature and Spirit thus speaks to those who face the task of answering, "Here I am."
Contemporary health care often lacks generosity of spirit, even when treatment is most efficient. Too many patients are left unhappy with how they are treated, and too many medical professionals feel estranged from the calling that drew them to medicine. Arthur W. Frank tells the stories of ill people, doctors, and nurses who are restoring generosity to medicine—generosity toward others and to themselves. The Renewal of Generosity evokes medicine as the face-to-face encounter that comes before and after diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and surgeries. Frank calls upon the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, philosopher Emmanuel Levinas, and literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin to reflect on stories of ill people, doctors, and nurses who transform demoralized medicine into caring relationships. He presents their stories as a source of consolation for both ill and professional alike and as an impetus to changing medical systems. Frank shows how generosity is being renewed through dialogue that is more than the exchange of information. Dialogue is an ethic and an ideal for people on both sides of the medical encounter who want to offer more to those they meet and who want their own lives enriched in the process. The Renewal of Generosity views illness and medical work with grace and compassion, making an invaluable contribution to expanding our vision of suffering and healing.
This book shows that Cervantes deliberately employed polyphonic structure in Don Quixote, a mode with more sophisticated expressive possibilities that monophonic narration could not offer. It suggests that Don Quixote can be treated as a semi-polyphonic hybrid novel that successfully amalgamates two narrative modes, monophonic and polyphonic.
This innovative study brings the early writings of Mikhail Bakhtin into conversation with Max Scheler and Fyodor Dostoevsky to explore the question of what makes emotional co-experiencing ethically and spiritually productive. In Problems of Dostoevsky's Poetics, Bakhtin's well-known concept of the dialogical partner expresses what he sees as the potential of human relationships in Dostoevsky's work. But his earlier reflections on the ethical and aesthetic uses of empathy, in part inspired by Scheler's philosophy, suggest a still more fundamental form of communication that operates as a basis for human togetherness in Dostoevsky. Applying this rich and previously neglected theoretical apparatus in a literary analysis, Wyman examines the obstacles to active empathy in Dostoevsky's fictional world, considers the limitations and excesses of empathy, addresses the problem of frustrated love in The Idiot and Notes from Underground, and provides a fresh interpretation of two of Dostoevsky's most iconic characters, Prince Myshkin and Alyosha Karamazov.
Reading Lamentations as a Polyphony of Pain, Penitence, and Protest
Author: Miriam J. Bier
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Bier proposes here a strong new understanding of the Book of Lamentations, drawing on Bakhtinian ideas of multiple voices to analyse the poetic speaking voices within the text; examining their theological perspectives, and nuancing the interaction between them. Bier scrutinises interpretations of Lamentations, distinguishing between exegesis that reads Lamentations as a theodicy, in defense of God, and those that read it as an anti-theodicy, in defense of Zion. Rather than reductively adopting either of these approaches, this book advocates a dialogic approach to Lamentations, reading to hear the full polyphony of pain, penitence, and protest.
Toward a Communal Hermeneutic for Christian Ethics
Author: Michael G. Cartwright
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
Drawing on the hermeneutical reflections of John Howard Yoder, Stanley Hauerwas, and Mikhail Bakhtin, Cartwright challenges the way twentieth-century American Protestants have engaged the "problem" of the use of scripture in Christian ethics, and issues a summons for a new debate oriented by a communal approach to hermeneutics. By analyzing particular ecclesial practices that stand within living traditions of Christianity, the "politics" of scriptural interpretation can be identified along with the criteria for what a "good performance" of scripture should be. This approach to the use of scripture in Christian ethics is displayed in historical discussions of two Christian practices through which scripture is read ecclesiologically: the Eastern Orthodox liturgical celebration of the Eucharist and the Anabaptist practice of "binding and loosing" or "the rule of Christ." When American Protestants consider "performances" of scripture such as these alongside one another within more ecumenical contexts, they begin to confront the ecclesiological problem with their attempts to "use" the Bible in Christian ethics: the relative absence of constitutive ecclesial practices in American Protestant congregations that can provide moral orientation for their interpretations of Christian scripture.
This book examines the significance of religion in the work of the twentieth century philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. Exploring Bakhtin’s contribution to debates on methodology in the study of religion, this book argues that his use of religious terminology is derived from his source material in philosophy of religion and not from his confessional commitment to Russian Orthodox Christianity. Critiquing Gavin Flood’s important work Beyond Phenomenology, Hilary Bagshaw explains how Bakhtin’s work on ‘outsideness’ presents invaluable insights for scholars of religion, particularly pertinent to the contemporary insider/outsider debate.
Victoria Welby (1837–1912) dedicated her research to the relationship between signs and values. She exchanged ideas with important exponents of the language and sign sciences, such as Charles S. Peirce and Charles S. Ogden. She examined themes she believed crucially important both in the use of signs and in reflection on signs. But Welby’s research can also be understood in ideal dialogue with authors she could never have met in real life, such as Mikhail Bakhtin, Susanne Langer, and Genevieve Vaughan. Welby contends that signifying cannot be constrained to any one system, type of sign, language, field of discourse, or area of experience. On the contrary, it is ever more developed, enhanced, and rigorous, the more it develops across different fields, disciplines, and areas of experience. For example, to understand meaning, Welby evidences the advantage of translating it into another word even from the same language or resorting to metaphor to express what would otherwise be difficult to conceive. Welby aims for full awareness of the expressive potential of signifying resources. Her reflections make an important contribution to problems connected with communication, expression, interpretation, translation, and creativity.
General Consent in Jane Austen examines the "early" and "late" novels as well as the juvenilia in the light of three paradigms: "The Other Heroine" focuses on voices that challenge and compete with the central heroines, "Cameo Appearances" examines buried past narratives, and "Investigating Crimes" explores acts of violence. These three avenues into dialogic space destabilize conventional readings of Austen. The Bakhtinian model that structures this book is not one of linearity and balance but one of conflict, simultaneity, and multiplicity. While some novels fit into only one paradigm, others incorporate more than one; Mansfield Park receives the most attention. A bold and provocative study, General Consent in Jane Austen will be of interest not only to Austen scholars but to scholars of literary theory and dialogism.
Theory for Performance Studies: A Student's Guideis a clear and concise handbook to the key connections between performance studies and critical theory since the 1960s. Philip Auslander looks at the way the concept of performance has been engaged across a number of disciplines. Beginning with four foundational figures â€“ Freud, Marz, Nietzsche and Saussure â€“ Auslander goes on to provide guided introductions to the major theoretical thinkers of the past century, from Althusser to Zizek. Each entry offers biographical, theoretical, and bibliographical information along with a discussion of each figure's relevance to theatre and performance studies and suggestions for future research. Brisk, thoughtful, and engaging, this is an essential first volume for anyone at work in theatre and performance studies today. Adapted from Theory for Religious Studies, by William E. Deal and Timothy K. Beal.
G. K. Chesterton, London and Modernity is the first book to explore the persistent theme of the city in Chesterton's writing. Situating him in relation to both Victorian and Modernist literary paradigms, the book explores a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to address the way his imaginative investments and political interventions conceive urban modernity and the central figure of London. While Chesterton's work has often been valued for its wit and whimsy, this book argues that he is also a distinctive urban commentator, whose sophistication has been underappreciated in comparison to more canonical contemporaries. With chapters written by leading scholars in the field of 20th-century literature, the book also provides fresh readings and suggests new contexts for central texts such as The Man Who Was Thursday, The Napoleon of Notting Hill and the Father Brown stories. It also discusses lesser-known works, such as Manalive and The Club of Queer Trades, drawing out their significance for scholars interested in urban representation and practice in the first three decades of the 20th century.
The first of its kind in English, this collection explores twenty one well established and lesser known female filmmakers from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the Chinese diaspora. Sixteen scholars illuminate these filmmakers' negotiations of local and global politics, cinematic representation, and issues of gender and sexuality, covering works from the 1920s to the present. Writing from the disciplines of Asian, women's, film, and auteur studies, contributors reclaim the work of Esther Eng, Tang Shu Shuen, Dong Kena, and Sylvia Chang, among others, who have transformed Chinese cinematic modernity. Chinese Women's Cinema is a unique, transcultural, interdisciplinary conversation on authorship, feminist cinema, transnational gender, and cinematic agency and representation. Lingzhen Wang's comprehensive introduction recounts the history and limitations of established feminist film theory, particularly its relationship with female cinematic authorship and agency. She also reviews critiques of classical feminist film theory, along with recent developments in feminist practice, altogether remapping feminist film discourse within transnational and interdisciplinary contexts. Wang's subsequent redefinition of women's cinema, and brief history of women's cinematic practices in modern China, encourage the reader to reposition gender and cinema within a transnational feminist configuration, such that power and knowledge are reexamined among and across cultures and nation-states.
In this handy volume, two professors of religious studies provide the student of religious studies - whether the motivated undergraduate, graduate student, or professor - with a brief review of theorists' work from the perspective of religious studies. For example, in 5-10 pages, the reader will get a review of Emmanuel Levinas's work as it offers insights for scholars in religious studies, followed by a selected bibliography. In short, this is a guide for students of religious studies that will take major theoretical writers in the humanities and social sciences and explain their relevance to the study of religion.
Cultural Representations of the 1984-5 UK Miners’ Strike
Author: Katy Shaw
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
This innovative study provides an exciting, challenging and accessible critical introduction to cultural representations of 1984–5 and analyses the ways in which these representations articulate an essential dialogic exchange of issues central to both the coal dispute and the development of literary and cultural studies over the past twenty five years. Focusing closely on the politics of form, the study interrogates the significance of the mode, means and function of strikers’ writings, as well as alternative representations of the conflict offered by established writers, musicians, artists and film-makers in the wake of the coal dispute. These representations are worthy of study due to the critical interventions they offer, their evidence of the cultural pressures and forces of not only the strike period, but the post-strike years of industrial and labour change and their remarkable contribution to existing social, political and literary histories. Engaging with these works, many of which have never been subject to previous academic analysis, the study enables twenty-first-century readers to re-conceptualise paradigms of received wisdom concerning 1984–5. The significance of the competing representations offered by these very different cultural modes as they engage in a wider battle to ‘author’ the conflict is central to this study. Through a detailed analysis of these representations, as well as the socio-cultural contexts of their production and dissemination, this book explores a range of attempts to capture the sensibilities of late twentieth century society and contributes to an ongoing debate regarding cultural representations of this period in British history. Influenced by critical theory, the text is the first secondary resource concerning cultural representations of the 1984–5 UK miners’ strike available to the reading public the world over.
This is an original reading of Mikhail Bakhtin in the context of Western philosophical traditions and counter-traditions. The book portrays Bakhtin as a Modernist thinker torn between an ideological secularity and a profound religious sensibility, invariably concerned with questions of ethics and impelled to turn from philosophy to literature as another way of knowing. Most major studies of Bakhtin highlight the fragmented and apparently discontinuous nature of his work. Erdinast-Vulcan emphasizes, instead, the underlying coherence of the Bakhtinian project, reading its inherent ambivalences as an intersection of philosophical, literary, and psychological insights into the dynamics of embodied subjectivity. Bakhtin's turn to literature and poetry, as well as the dissatisfactions that motivated it, align him with three other "exilic" Continental philosophers who were his contemporaries: Bergson, Merleau-Ponty, and Levinas. Adopting Bakhtin's own open-ended approach to the human sciences, the book stages a series of philosophical encounters between these thinkers, highlighting their respective itineraries and impasses, and generating a Bakhtinian synergy of ideas.
The Novel in Theory from Henry James to the Present
Author: Dorothy J. Hale
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
In recent decades, literary critics have praised novel theory for abandoning its formalist roots and defining the novel as a vehicle of social discourse. The old school of novel theory has long been associated with Henry James; the new school allies itself with the Russian theorist Mikhail Bakhtin. In this book, the author argues that actually it was the compatibility of Bakhtin with James that prompted Anglo-American theorists to embrace Bakhtin with such enthusiasm. Far from rejecting James, in other words, recent novel theorists have only refined Jamess foundational recharacterization of the novel as the genre that does not simply represent identity through its content but actually instantiates it through its form. Social Formalismdemonstrates the persistence of Jamess theoretical assumptions from his writings and those of his disciple Percy Lubbock through the critique of Jamesian theory by Roland Barthes, Wayne Booth, and Gérard Genette to the current Anglo-American assimilation of Bakhtin. It also traces the expansion of Jamess influence, as mediated by Bakhtin, into cultural and literary theory. Jamesian social formalism is shown to help determine the widely influential theories of minority identity expounded by such important cultural critics as Barbara Johnson and Henry Louis Gates. Social Formalismthus explains why a tradition that began by defining novelistic value as the formal instantiation of identity ends by defining minority political empowerment as aestheticized self-representation.