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Fiction and the Social Contract: Genocide, Pornography, and the Deconstruction of History
     

Fiction and the Social Contract: Genocide, Pornography, and the Deconstruction of History

by Larry L. Langford
 

Although postmodernism has questioned the distinction between history and fiction, it has not weakened it. History is a discourse with necessary consequences. Since Plato its distinction from fiction has been recognized as a fundamental aspect of the social contract and, therefore, as a matter of life and death. The authority to designate what is real leads

Overview

Although postmodernism has questioned the distinction between history and fiction, it has not weakened it. History is a discourse with necessary consequences. Since Plato its distinction from fiction has been recognized as a fundamental aspect of the social contract and, therefore, as a matter of life and death. The authority to designate what is real leads ultimately to the authority to decide when it is morally permissible to take a human life. Controversies as diverse as the historians' debate on the Holocaust and the feminist critique of pornography take as their starting point the need to resist those who would treat the past as a type of fiction that can be rewritten to further the aims of political or sexual oppression.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
The author examines what basis remains, in the light of the postmodern critique of history, for establishing the boundary between fiction and history. He undertakes both a defense of deconstruction and an analysis of its limitations and its social and political consequences<-->in particular, the fears raised about the possibility of history being rewritten at will. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820438498
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
06/01/1998
Series:
Studies in Literary Criticism and Theory
Pages:
175

Meet the Author

The Author: Larry L. Langford received his Ph.D. in English from Rice University. He taught for several years at California State University, Fresno, before leaving to become president of Writing Support Services. He is widely published in professional journals on literary theory, drama, cinema, and the novel.

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