Goodness And The Literary Imagination
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|Author||: Toni Morrison|
|Editor||: University of Virginia Press|
What exactly is goodness? Where is it found in the literary imagination? Toni Morrison, one of American letters’ greatest voices, pondered these perplexing questions in her celebrated Ingersoll Lecture, delivered at Harvard University in 2012 and published now for the first time. Perhaps because it is overshadowed by the more easily defined evil, goodness often escapes our attention. Recalling many literary examples, from Ahab to Coetzee’s Michael K, Morrison seeks the essence of goodness and ponders its significant place in her writing. She considers the concept in relation to unforgettable characters from her own works of fiction and arrives at conclusions that are both eloquent and edifying. In a lively interview conducted for this book, Morrison further elaborates on her lecture’s ideas, discussing goodness not only in literature but in society and history—particularly black history, which has responded to centuries of brutality with profound creativity. Morrison’s essay is followed by a series of responses by scholars in the fields of religion, ethics, history, and literature to her thoughts on goodness and evil, mercy and love, racism and self-destruction, language and liberation, together with close examination of literary and theoretical expressions from her works. Each of these contributions, written by a scholar of religion, considers the legacy of slavery and how it continues to shape our memories, our complicities, our outcries, our lives, our communities, our literature, and our faith. In addition, the contributors engage the religious orientation in Morrison’s novels so that readers who encounter her many memorable characters such as Sula, Beloved, or Frank Money will learn and appreciate how Morrison’s notions of goodness and mercy also reflect her understanding of the sacred and the human spirit.
|Author||: Gabriel R. Ricci|
In a letter to Boccaccio, Petrarch extolled the virtue of poetry and letters for promoting an understanding of both human nature and morals. The letter was designed to console him after hearing a prediction that he was soon to die and that he ought to renounce poetry. The prophecy came from an elder renowned for his piety, but Petrarch admonished that too often dishonesty and fraud are couched in religious sentiments. Nothing, not even death, according to Petrarch, ought to divert us from literature. For Petrarch, Virgil was the source for understanding how literary studies not only promote eloquence, but enhance morals. If anything, literature dispels the fear of death. The claims of this volume is that it may be the case that the virtuous life can be achieved by those ignorant of letters but a more direct and certain route is guaranteed by a devotion to literature. The collected works in this new volume of the Transaction series Religion and Public Life heeds Petrarch's advice that literature not only orients us to life's developmental stages, it can provide us with a more complete understanding of the human character while artfully advancing morals. To this end, Michelle Darnell's opening chapter entitled "A New Age of Reason" explains how existentialism is an argument for how literature can take on philosophical form, not as formal argument, but as persuasive narrative. Over the objections of even those who study Sartre, Darnell uses Sartre's The Age of Reason as a model and shows how his literary output was a legitimate philosophical inquiry. In addition to the Darnell piece, the volume boasts a series of outstanding and innovative works by scholars in the field. Taken together as a whole, these authors not only illustrate the moral consequences of an original choice, but oblige the reader to explore the ramifications of such a choice in one's own life.
|Author||: Chung-jen Chen|
Victorian Contagion: Risk and Social Control in the Victorian Literary Imagination examines the literary and cultural production of contagion in the Victorian era and the way that production participated in a moral economy of surveillance and control. In this book, I attempt to make sense of how the discursive practice of contagion governed the interactions and correlations between medical science, literary creation, and cultural imagination. Victorians dealt with the menace of contagion by theorizing a working motto in claiming the goodness and godliness in cleanliness which was theorized, realized, and radicalized both through practice and imagination. The Victorian discourse around cleanliness and contagion, including all its treatments and preventions, developed into a culture of medicalization, a perception of surveillance, a politics of health, an economy of morality, and a way of thinking. This book is an attempt to understands the literary and cultural elements which contributed to fear and anticipation of contagion, and to explain why and how these elements still matter to us today.
|Author||: Martha Craven Nussbaum|
|Editor||: Beacon Press|
One of our most prominent philosophers and public intellectuals explores how literature can contribute to a more just society. Timely and urgent . . . Poetic Justice is a tract for the times in the guise of a defense of the literary imagination. --MORRIS DICKSTEIN, The New York Times Book Review
|Author||: Jana Evans Braziel,Nadège T. Clitandre|
|Editor||: Bloomsbury Publishing|
Edwidge Danticat's prolific body of work has established her as one of the most important voices in 21st-century literary culture. Across such novels as Breath, Eyes, Memory, Farming the Bones and short story collections such as Krik? Krak! and most recently Everything Inside, essays, and writing for children, the Haitian-American writer has throughout her oeuvre tackled important contemporary themes including racism, imperialism, anti-immigrant politics, and sexual violence. With chapters written by leading and emerging international scholars, this is the most up-to-date and in-depth reference guide to 21st-century scholarship on Edwidge Danticat's work. The Bloomsbury Handbook to Edwidge Danticat covers such topics as: · The full range of Danticat's writing from her novels and short stories to essays, life writing and writing for children and young adults. · Major interdisciplinary scholarly perspectives including from establishing fields fields of literary studies, Caribbean Studies Political Science, Latin American Studies, feminist and gender studies, African Diaspora Studies, , and emerging fields such as Environmental Studies. · Danticat's literary sources and influences from Haitian authors such as Marie Chauvet, Jacques Roumain and Jacques-Stéphen Alexis to African American authors like Zora Neale Hurston, Toni Morrison, and Caribbean American writers Audre Lorde to Paule Marshall. · Known and unknown Historical moments in experiences of slavery and imperialism, the consequence of internal and external migration, and the formation of diasporic communities The book also includes a comprehensive bibliography of Danticat's work and key works of secondary criticism, and an interview with the author, as well as and essays by Danticat herself.
|Author||: Tiya Miles|
|Editor||: Random House|
"In 1850s South Carolina, just before nine-year-old Ashley was sold, her mother Rose gave her a sack filled with just a few things as a token of her love. Decades later, Ashley's granddaughter Ruth embroidered this history on the bag--including Rose's message that 'It be filled with my Love always.' Historian Tiya Miles carefully follows faint archival traces back to Charleston to find Rose in the kitchen where she may have packed the sack for Ashley. From Rose's last resourceful gift to her daughter, Miles then follows the paths their lives and the lives of so many like them took to write a unique, innovative history of the lived experience of slavery in the United States"--
|Author||: Farah Jasmine Griffin|
|Editor||: W. W. Norton & Company|
A brilliant scholar imparts the lessons bequeathed by the Black community and its remarkable artists and thinkers. Farah Jasmine Griffin has taken to her heart the phrase "read until you understand," a line her father, who died when she was nine, wrote in a note to her. She has made it central to this book about love of the majestic power of words and love of the magnificence of Black life. Griffin has spent years rooted in the culture of Black genius and the legacy of books that her father left her. A beloved professor, she has devoted herself to passing these works and their wisdom on to generations of students. Here, she shares a lifetime of discoveries: the ideas that inspired the stunning oratory of Frederick Douglass and Malcolm X, the soulful music of Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, the daring literature of Phillis Wheatley and Toni Morrison, the inventive artistry of Romare Bearden, and many more. Exploring these works through such themes as justice, rage, self-determination, beauty, joy, and mercy allows her to move from her aunt’s love of yellow roses to Gil Scott-Heron’s "Winter in America." Griffin entwines memoir, history, and art while she keeps her finger on the pulse of the present, asking us to grapple with the continuing struggle for Black freedom and the ongoing project that is American democracy. She challenges us to reckon with our commitment to all the nation’s inhabitants and our responsibilities to all humanity.
|Author||: Kevin Quashie|
|Editor||: Duke University Press|
In Black Aliveness, or A Poetics of Being, Kevin Quashie imagines a Black world in which one encounters Black being as it is rather than only as it exists in the shadow of anti-Black violence. As such, he makes a case for Black aliveness even in the face of the persistence of death in Black life and Black study. Centrally, Quashie theorizes aliveness through the aesthetics of poetry, reading poetic inhabitance in Black feminist literary texts by Lucille Clifton, Audre Lorde, June Jordan, Toni Morrison, and Evie Shockley, among others, showing how their philosophical and creative thinking constitutes worldmaking. This worldmaking conceptualizes Blackness as capacious, relational beyond the normative terms of recognition—Blackness as a condition of oneness. Reading for poetic aliveness, then, becomes a means of exploring Black being rather than nonbeing and animates the ethical question “how to be.” In this way, Quashie offers a Black feminist philosophy of being, which is nothing less than a philosophy of the becoming of the Black world.
|Author||: Martha C. Nussbaum|
|Editor||: Oxford University Press|
This volume brings together Nussbaum's published papers on the relationship between literature and philosophy, especially moral philosophy. The papers, many of them previously inaccessible to non-specialist readers, deal with such fundamental issues as the relationship between style and content in the exploration of ethical issues; the nature of ethical attention and ethical knowledge and their relationship to written forms and styles; and the role of the emotions in deliberation and self-knowledge. Nussbaum investigates and defends a conception of ethical understanding which involves emotional as well as intellectual activity, and which gives a certain type of priority to the perception of particular people and situations rather than to abstract rules. She argues that this ethical conception cannot be completely and appropriately stated without turning to forms of writing usually considered literary rather than philosophical. It is consequently necessary to broaden our conception of moral philosophy in order to include these forms. Featuring two new essays and revised versions of several previously published essays, this collection attempts to articulate the relationship, within such a broader ethical inquiry, between literary and more abstractly theoretical elements.
|Author||: Derek Traversi|
|Editor||: University of Delaware Press|
The essays collected in this book include two each on Dante and Chaucer that appear for the first time in print and three on Shakespeare that are based on Dr. Traversi's Approach to Shakespeare. Dante's Purgatorio, Chaucer's the Franklin's Tale, and Shakespeare's the Tempest are among the texts analyzed here.
|Author||: Nigel Tranter|
|Editor||: Hachette UK|
Laird of a small estate, Will Alexander of Menstrie, poet and tutor, was a man of modest ambitions. But when James VI learned of his poetic genius, the king had other plans for him. In 1603, when James VI of Scotland became James I of England, he summoned Will to London and commanded him to translate the Psalms for the new royal version of the Bible in English - which remains the definitive edition to this day. At the English court, Will Alexander consorted with the most famous poets of the age including Shakespeare and Jonson. By the time he died, the humble Scottish laird had become Earl of Stirling, Viscount of Canada, Governor of Nova Scotia and Secretary of State for Scotland. Laced with intrigue and absorbing historical detail, Nigel Tranter charts the extraordinary rise of William Alexander of Menstrie.
|Author||: Katherine Byrne|
|Editor||: Cambridge University Press|
This book examines representations of tuberculosis in Victorian fiction, giving insights into how society viewed this disease and its sufferers.
|Author||: H. Cohen|
This book presents a cutting-edge critical analysis of the trope of miscegenation and its biopolitical implications in contemporary Palestinian and Israeli literature, poetry, and discourse. The relationship between nationalism and demographics are examined through the narrative and poetic intrigue of intimacy between Arabs and Jews, drawing from a range of theoretical perspectives, including public sphere theory, orientalism, and critical race studies. Revisiting the controversial Brazilian writer Gilberto Freyre, who championed miscegenation in his revisionary history of Brazil, the book deploys a comparative investigation of Palestinian and Israeli writers' preoccupation with the mixed romance. Author Hella Bloom Cohen offers new interpretations of works by Mahmoud Darwish, A.B. Yehoshua, Orly Castel-Bloom, Nathalie Handal, and Rula Jebreal, among others.
|Author||: Jennifer Stevens|
|Editor||: Liverpool University Press|
Fictional reconstructions of the Gospels continue to find a place in contemporary literature and the popular imagination. Present-day writers of New Testament–based fiction are considered to be part of a tradition formed in the mid-to-late twentieth century. Yet the foundations were laid earlier still by writers like Oscar Wilde, George Moore, and Marie Corelli who, in turn, drew influence from other works of biblical scholarship. The latest in the English Association Monographs series, The Historical Jesus and the Literary Imagination paints a convincing picture of the relationship between nineteenth-century biblical scholarship and literary works that raises interesting questions for scholars working at the intersection of literature and theology.
|Author||: Michael R. Page|
At the close of the eighteenth century, Erasmus Darwin declared that he would 'enlist the imagination under the banner of science,' beginning, Michael Page argues, a literary narrative on questions of evolution, ecology, and technological progress that would extend from the Romantic through the Victorian periods. Examining the interchange between emerging scientific ideas-specifically evolution and ecology-new technologies, and literature in nineteenth-century Britain, Page shows how British writers from Darwin to H.G. Wells confronted the burgeoning expansion of scientific knowledge that was radically redefining human understanding and experience of the natural world, of human species, and of the self. The wide range of authors covered in Page's ambitious study permits him to explore an impressive array of topics that include the role of the Romantic era in the molding of scientific and cultural perspectives; the engagement of William Wordsworth and Percy Shelley with questions raised by contemporary science; Mary Shelley's conflicted views on the unfolding prospects of modernity; and how Victorian writers like Charles Kingsley, Samuel Butler, and W.H. Hudson responded to the implications of evolutionary theory. Page concludes with the scientific romances of H.G. Wells, to demonstrate how evolutionary fantasies reached the pinnacle of synthesis between evolutionary science and the imagination at the close of the century.
|Author||: Jean Fernandez|
In this pioneering study, Dr. Fernandez explores how the rise of institutional geography in Victorian England impacted imperial fiction’s emergence as a genre characterized by a preoccupation with space and place. This volume argues that the alliance between institutional geography and the British empire which commenced with the founding of the Royal Geographical Society in 1830, shaped the spatial imagination of Victorians, with profound consequences for the novel of empire. Geography and the Literary Imagination in Victorian Fictions of Empire examines Presidential Addresses and reports of the Royal Geographical Society, and demonstrates how geographical studies by explorers, cartographers, ethnologists, medical topographers, administrators, and missionaries published by the RGS, local geographical societies, or the colonial state, acquired relevance for Victorian fiction’s response to the British Empire. Through a series of illuminating readings of literary works by R.L. Stevenson, Olive Schreiner, Flora Annie Steel, Winwood Reade, Joseph Conrad, and Rudyard Kipling, the study demonstrates how nineteenth-century fiction, published between 1870 and 1901, reflected and interrogated geographical discourses of the time. The study makes the case for the significance of physical and human geography for literary studies, and the unique historical and aesthetic insights gained through this approach.
|Author||: Northrop Frye,Professor Northrop Frye|
|Editor||: Indiana University Press|
Explores the value and uses of literature in our time. Dr. Frye offers ideas for the teaching of literature at lower school levels, designed both to promote an early interest and to lead the student to the knowledge and experience found in the study of literature.
|Author||: Toni Morrison|
On the occasion of her acceptance of the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters on the sixth of November, 1996, Nobel laureate Toni Morrison speaks with brevity and passion to the pleasures, the difficulties, the necessities, of the reading/writing life in our time.
|Author||: Rico Hollmach|
|Editor||: Cambridge Scholars Publishing|
This book examines Toni Morrison’s highly influential works through the lens of philanthropy. The point of departure of this endeavor is the keen observation that philanthropy has always played a leading role in US discourses about the nation itself. While doing so, time and again philanthropy has also been used as a means of social stratification – especially for so-called social minorities such as the African American community, whose historical experience within the United States is at the very heart of Morrison’s novels. This book pursues the goal of a twofold understanding – on the one hand, through offering a rather innovative access to Morrison’s works, the project allows for new insights into one of today’s most influential authors. On the other hand, this book explores the productivity of the concept of philanthropy for literary and cultural studies – a concept hitherto largely neglected by scholars in both academic fields.