Poets, Princes, and Private Citizens: Literary Alternatives to Postmodern Politics

Overview

This collection of original and insightful essays was written by teachers seeking to restore literature as a powerful teaching tool in the undergraduate classroom. This book rejects postmodern theorizing, opting instead to assert that great poets, playwrights, and novelists self-consciously intended to impart compelling moral and political lessons. The essays focus on fundamental questions such as: What is justice? What does it mean to be a good human being? What are the strengths and weaknesses of a particular ...
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Overview

This collection of original and insightful essays was written by teachers seeking to restore literature as a powerful teaching tool in the undergraduate classroom. This book rejects postmodern theorizing, opting instead to assert that great poets, playwrights, and novelists self-consciously intended to impart compelling moral and political lessons. The essays focus on fundamental questions such as: What is justice? What does it mean to be a good human being? What are the strengths and weaknesses of a particular form of government? and, How are we to understand and resolve the tensions between private affections and public responsibilities? This is important reading for anyone concerned about the impact of postmodern literary analysis.

Author Biography: Joseph M. Knippenberg is associate professor of politics at Oglethorpe University. Peter A. Lawler is professor of political science at Berry College.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
The work should be of interest to political theorists who are interested in the relationship between politics and literature. . . . Essential for libraries
Books In Canada
One cannot help but be struck by the power of these essays to draw the reader into their subject-matter. Novels, poems, plays, and short stories, in the consideration they receive here, remain ever-present for the reader and are not jettisoned. . . . These essays are to be commended for undertaking the kind of study of literature that located the common ground for discussing books in the books themselves. . . . one always gets the sense that the book and its questions remain open for consideration. If such is the consequence of approaching literature with the idea . . . that authors have a conscious and articulable intention, and that they aim to teach through their work, then it is a welsome consequence for the serious reader.
Mera J. Flaumenhaft
. . . a welcome contribution to literary and political studies in these confused and confusing times.
Catherine H. Zuckert
The essays add both depth and breadth to the newly emerging field of politics and literature . . . a wealth of material for individual readers' enjoyment or potential course use.
Ethan Fishman
Readers who take the intentions of poets, playwrights, and novelists seriously and who believe that their texts can offer valuable insights into perennial political issues will find this volume of essays to be an indispensable resource.
CHOICE
The work should be of interest to political theorists who are interested in the relationship between politics and literature. . . . Essential for libraries
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780847682003
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/8/1996
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph M. Knippenberg is associate professor of politics at Oglethorpe University. Peter A. Lawler is professor of political science at Berry College.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Don Quixote and Christian Imperialism 3
2 Virtue, Honor, and Reputation: Machiavelli's Appropriation of Christianity in the "Rape" of Lucrezia 21
3 Master and Man in Melville's "Benito Cereno" 41
4 Politics of Hatred in A Tale of Two Cities 63
5 The Sea-Wolf: Nature Versus Morality 75
6 The Pestilent Intellect: Camus's Post-Christian Vision 91
7 Family and Politics in Aristophanes 121
8 Flannery O'Connor and the Limits of Justice 143
9 Lost in the Cosmos; Walker Percy's Analysis of American Restlessness 169
10 Paul Scott's Raj Quintet: Real Politics in Imagined Gardens 191
11 Nature and Convention in King Lear 213
12 The Famous Victories of William Shakespeare: The Life of Henry the Fifth 235
13 Moral Education in Jane Austen's Emma 271
14 Friendship and Divine Justice in Homer's Iliad 289
Index 305
About the Contributors 309
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