In Plato's Republic, Socrates spoke of an 'ancient quarrel between literature and philosophy' which he offered to resolve once and for all by banning the poets from his ideal city. Few philosophers have taken Socrates at his word, and out of the ancient quarrel there has emerged a long tradition that has sought to value literature chiefly as a useful supplement to philosophical reasoning. The fiction of J.M. Coetzee makes a striking challenge to this tradition. While his writing has frequently engaged philosophical subjects in explicit ways, it has done so with an emphasis on the dissonance between literary expression and philosophical reasoning. And while Coetzee has often overtly engaged with academic literary theory, his fiction has done so in a way that has tended to disorient rather than affirm those same theories, wrong-footing the normal processes of literary interpretation.
This volume brings together philosophers and literary theorists to reflect upon the challenge Coetzee has made to their respective disciplines, and to the disciplinary distinctions at stake in the ancient quarrel. The essays use his fiction to explore questions about the boundaries between literature, philosophy, and literary criticism; the relationship between literature, theology, and post-secularism; the particular ways in which literature engages reality; how literature interacts with the philosophies of language, action, subjectivity, and ethics; and the institutions that govern the distinctions between literature and philosophy. It will be of importance not only to readers of Coetzee, but to anyone interested in the ancient quarrel itself.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press|
|Product dimensions:||9.30(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Patrick Hayes, Associate Professor of English, St John's College, University of Oxford,Jan Wilm, Lecturer in English Literature, Goethe University
Patrick Hayes is Associate Professor of English Literature at Oxford University, and a Fellow of St John's College. He is the author of Philip Roth: Fiction and Power (OUP, 2014) and J. M. Coetzee and the Novel: Writing and Politics after Beckett (OUP, 2010).
Jan Wilm is a Lecturer in English Literature at Goethe University. He is co-editor, with Mark Nixon, of Samuel Beckett und die deutsche Literatur (Transcript, 2013) and author of The Slow Philosophy of J. M. Coetzee (Bloomsbury, 2016). He also works as a literary critic and a literary translator.
Table of Contents
1. Ancient Quarrels, Modern Contexts: An Introduction', Patrick Hayes and Jan Wilm
Part I. Unsettling Boundaries: Philosophy, Literature, and Literary Criticism
2. Health and Deviance, Irony and Incarnation: Embedding and Embodying Philosophy in The Childhood of Jesus, Stephen Mulhall
3. Attuning Philosophy and Literary Criticism: A Response to In the Heart of the Country', Max De Gaynesford
4. Double Thoughts: Coetzee and the Philosophy of Literary Criticism, Andrew Dean
5. 'Good paragraphing. Unusual content': On the Making and Unmaking of Novelistic Worlds, Julika Griem
Par II. Ethics and Moral Philosophy
6. 'A Yes without a No': Philosophical Reason and the Ethics of Conversion in Coetzee's Fiction', Derek Attridge
7. Coetzee and Eros: A Critique of Moral Philosophy, Eileen John
Part III. Reality, Language, and Subjectivity
8. Coetzee's Quest for Reality, Alice Crary
9. Beyond Realism: Coetzee's Post-Secular Imagination, Martin Woessner
10. Coetzee's Critique of Language, Peter McDonald
11. Coetzee and Psychoanalysis: from Paranoia to Aporia, Jean-Michel Rabate
Part IV. Contexts and Institutions
12. 'Wisselbare Woorde': Coetzee and Postcolonial Philosophy, Carrol Clarkson
13. The J.M. Coetzee Archive and the Archive in J.M. Coetzee, Jan Wilm