Mapping the Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory

Overview

Divided into four descriptive sections—"Theory and the Ethics of Literary Text," "Confronting the Difficult: The Ethics of Race and Power," "Making Darkness Visible: The Ethical Implications of Narrative as Witness," and "Ways of Seeing: The Diversity of Applied Ethical Criticism"—this unprecedented collection of essays traces the interpretive, pedagogic, and theoretical concerns inherent in the study of literature, ethics, and modes of criticism. Wayne C. Booth's "Why Ethical Criticism Can Never Be Simple," J. ...

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Overview

Divided into four descriptive sections—"Theory and the Ethics of Literary Text," "Confronting the Difficult: The Ethics of Race and Power," "Making Darkness Visible: The Ethical Implications of Narrative as Witness," and "Ways of Seeing: The Diversity of Applied Ethical Criticism"—this unprecedented collection of essays traces the interpretive, pedagogic, and theoretical concerns inherent in the study of literature, ethics, and modes of criticism. Wayne C. Booth's "Why Ethical Criticism Can Never Be Simple," J. Hillis Miller's "How to Be 'in Tune with the Right' in The Golden Bowl," Susan Gubar's "Poets of Testimony," and Martha C. Nussbaum's "Exactly and Responsibly: A Defense of Ethical Criticism" are among the fifteen essays included. Bringing together ethical criticism's most important theorists, Mapping the Ethical Turn is a cohesive introduction to a reading paradigm that continues to influence the ways in which we think and feel about the stories that mark our lives.

University of Virginia Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813920559
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2001
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Todd F. Davis is Associate Professor of English at Goshen College and the author of articles on twentieth-century American and British literature.

Kenneth Womack is Assistant Professor of English at Penn State Altoona and the coeditor of Twentieth-Century Bibliography and Textual Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography and of three volumes in the Dictionary of Literary Biography series, among other works on literature and literary theory.

University of Virginia Press

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Table of Contents

Preface: Reading Literature and the Ethics of Criticism
I Theory and the Ethics of Literary Study
A Humanistic Ethics of Reading 3
Why Ethical Criticism Can Never Be Simple 16
Lyrical Ethics and Literary Experience 30
Exactly and Responsibly: A Defense of Ethical Criticism 59
II Confronting the Difficult: The Ethics of Race and Power
Who Has the Right to Feel? The Ethics of Literary Empathy 83
Sethe's Choice: Beloved and the Ethics of Reading 93
Moral Repair and Its Limits 110
III Making Darkness Visible: The Ethical Implications of Narrative as Witness
Ethics before Politics: J. M. Coetzee's Disgrace 131
The List Is Life: Schindler's List as Ethical Construct 151
Poets of Testimony: C. K. Williams and Jacqueline Osherow as Proxy Witnesses of the Shoah 165
IV Ways of Seeing: The Diversity of Applied Ethical Criticism
Forget the Phallic Symbolism, Consider the Snake: Biocentrism and Language in Margaret Atwood's "Snake Poems" 195
Making, Taking, and Faking Lives: Ethical Problems in Collaborative Life Writing 209
The Scandal of Human Countenance: Witold Gombrowicz and Bruno Schulz in Exile from the Country of Forms 227
Henry James, Moral Philosophers, Moralism 252
How to Be "in Tune with the Right" in The Golden Bowl 271
Notes on Contributors 287
Index 291
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