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What is Literature?

What is Literature?

Authors
Publisher Blackwell Science
Year 01/05/2020
Edition First
Pages 632
Version paperback
Readership level Professional and scholarly
Language English
ISBN 9781405182942
Categories Literary theory
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Book description

An essential guide to understanding literary theory and criticism in the European tradition What is Literature? A Critical Anthology explores the most fundamental question in literary studies. 'What is literature?' is the name of a problem that emerges with the idea of literature in European modernity. This volume offers a cross-section of modern literary theory and reflects on the history of thinking about literature as a specific form. What is Literature? reveals how ideas of the literary draw on the foundations of Western thought in ancient Greece and Rome, charting the emergence of modern literature in the eighteenth century, and including selections from the present state of the art. The anthology includes the work of leading writers and critics of the last two thousand years including Plato, Henry James, Virginia Woolf, Edward Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Jacques Ranciere, and many others. The book is an insightful examination of the nature of literature, its meanings and values, functions and forms, provocations and mysteries. What is Literature? brings together in one volume influential and intriguing essays that show our enduring fascination with the idea of literature. This important guide: Contains a broad selection of the most significant texts on the topic of literature Includes leading writers from ancient times to the most recent thinkers on literature and criticism Encourages readers to reflect on the varied meanings of "literature" What is Literature? A Critical Anthology is a unique collection of texts that will appeal to every student and scholar of literature and literary criticism in the European tradition.

What is Literature?

Table of contents

Introduction 1


1 Hamburg Dramaturgy (1769) 8
G. E. Lessing


2 Of the Standard of Taste (1777) 32
David Hume


3 Critique of Judgment (1790) 45
Immanuel Kant


4 On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795) 65
Friedrich Schiller


5 On the Study of Greek Poetry (1797) and Philosophical Fragments (1798-1800) 74
Friedrich Schlegel


6 Lectures on Dramatic Art (1811) 88
A. W. Schlegel


7 Preface to Lyrical Ballads, with Pastoral and Other Poems (1802) 104
William Wordsworth


8 Biographia Literaria (1817) 124
Samuel Taylor Coleridge


9 Aesthetics: Lectures on Fine Art (1835) 134
G. W. F. Hegel


10 The Function of Criticism at the Present Time (1864) 148
Matthew Arnold


11 The Birth of Tragedy (1872) 166
Friedrich Nietzsche


12 The Art of Fiction (1884) 188
Henry James


13 Crisis of Verse (1897) 202
Stephane Mallarme


14 Art as Technique (1917) 210
Viktor Shklovsky


15 The Uncanny (1919) 226
Sigmund Freud


16 Tradition and the Individual Talent (1919) and The Function of Criticism (1923) 252
T. S. Eliot


17 A Room of One's Own (1929) 265
Virginia Woolf


18 The Storyteller (1936): Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov 282
Walter Benjamin


19 Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote 299
Jorge Luis Borges


20 What is Literature? (1948) 306
Jean-Paul Sartre


21 Literature and the Right to Death (1948) 320
Maurice Blanchot


22 Language (1950) 349
Martin Heidegger


23 Trying to Understand Endgame (1958) 363
Theodor W. Adorno


24 The Meridian (1960) 389
Paul Celan


25 What is an Author? (1969) 398
Michel Foucault


26 Sorties: Out and Out: Attacks/Ways Out/Forays (1975) 411
Helene Cixous


27 What is a Minor Literature? (1975) 426
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari


28 Literature and Life (1993) 437
Gilles Deleuze


29 The Literary Absolute (1978) 441
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy


30 Orientalism (1978) 459
Edward W. Said


31 Autobiography as De-facement (1979) 479
Paul de Man


32 Che cos'e la poesia? (1988) and Before the Law (1982) 489
Jacques Derrida


33 Signs Taken for Wonders (1986): Questions of Ambivalence and Authority under a Tree Outside Delhi, May 1817 519
Homi K. Bhabha


34 What is the History of Literature? (1997) 538
Stephen Greenblatt


35 A Critique of Postcolonial Reason (1999) 558
Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak


36 Literature for the Planet (2001) 576
Wai Chee Dimock


37 The Politics of Literature (2003) 596
Jacques Ranciere


38 Close Reading in an Age of Global Writing (2013) 609
Rebecca L. Walkowitz


Index 621

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