The Wreath of Wild Olive: Play, Liminality, and the Study of Literature / Edition 1by Mihai I. Spariosu
Pub. Date: 04/28/1997
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Mihai Spariosu’s book strikingly intervenes in the debate raging among the various oppositional and hegemonic discourses/i>
Examines the concept of play in Western thought, with special emphasis on the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, and envisions literary discourse as contributing to an alternative mentality based on peace rather than power.
Mihai Spariosu’s book strikingly intervenes in the debate raging among the various oppositional and hegemonic discourses by advancing a new philosophy that transcends the currently prevailing agonistic mentality. He develops a ludic-irenic view intended to exceed both a voluntaristic and rationalist mode of thought, thereby convincingly opposing the all-pervading mentality of power in a world marked by difference, scapegoating, and strife between various social, ethnic, racial, and sexual factions. The ludic-irenic stance, basically derived from the playfulness of literature, produces alternative mentalities and alternative worlds which promote a responsive understanding of what there is, thus bringing to bear a healing influence within the human community, in which power and difference will cease to be ultimates. What Spariosu puts forward and demonstrates by means of a stupendous erudition is no less than a total reorientation of cultural criticism that is bound to have its impact on the course cultural studies will take.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements
Part One: Toward a Ludic-Irenic Theory of Literature And Culture: Intellectual Historical Background, Basic Principles
1. Nietzsche or Schopenhauer: Can One Construct an Alternative Mentality?
2. Liminality, Literary Discourse, and Alternative Worlds
3. Difference, Identity, and Otherness: A Ludic-Irenic Perspective
Part Two: Literary Thematics And Ludic-Irenic Hermeneutics
4. Homicide as Play: Dostoevsky, Gide, Aiken
5. Race, Ethnicity, and Irenic Mentality: Rebreanu, Eliade, Devi
6. Allegory, Power, and the Postmodern Game of Interpretation: Nabokov, Lowry, Orwell
Part Three: Ludic-Irenic Approaches to Cultural Criticism
7. Criticism as Irenic Play: The Case of the Victorian Sages
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