Singularity of Literature

ISBN-10: 0415335930

ISBN-13: 9780415335935

Edition: 2004

Authors: Derek Attridge

List price: $33.95
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Description:

There is no shortage of testimony to literature's puzzling, unsettling, intoxicating, affecting, delighting powers. Nor has there been a shortage of attempts to define literature as a concept, a body of texts or a cultural practice. However, no definition has been able to pin down the peculiarity of literature or to chart our experience of the literary. In this volume, Derek Attridge ask us to confront with him the resistance to definition in order to explore afresh the singularity of literature. In seeking new purchase on the elusive "literary", the author finds himself reflecting upon the history of Western art as a practice and as an institution. At its heart he finds a closely linked trinity of crucial issues: innovation orinvention, the uniqueness orsingularityof the artwork and, underlying these, the concept ofothernessor alterity. Calling for a type of reading that does justice to these aspects of the literary work, he explores literature as event or performance andbrilliantly retheorizes its place in the realm of the ethical. The author acknowledges the impossibility of definition and rather offers us an account of his particular "living-through" of the literary in the terms above and invites us to share with him the insights it might offer. The insights in this case are invaluable, as we are offered not only an original framework within which to consider texts, but a clear case for the ethical value of the literary institution to a culture. Never losing sight of the pleasures and potency of our experience of literature,The Singularity of Literatureis itself a delight to read. Returning to arguments begun in his influential volumePeculiarLanguage, Derek Attridge here energizes discussion of the literary by forever shifting the terms of debate and offering new perspectives on questions that haunt every reader.
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Book details

List price: $33.95
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Routledge
Publication date: 5/19/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.210
Language: English

Preface
Introductory
Creation and the Other
Originality and Invention
Inventive Language and the Literary Event
Singularity
Reading and Responding
Performance
Form, Meaning, Context
Responsibility and Ethics
An Everyday Impossibility
Appendix: Debts and Directions
Notes
Bibliography
Index
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