Ricoeur on Time and Narrative: An Introduction to Temps et récit

University of Notre Dame Pess
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“The object of this book,” writes William C. Dowling in his preface, “is to make the key concepts of Paul Ricoeur’s Time and Narrative available to readers who might have felt bewildered by the twists and turns of its argument.” The sources of puzzlement are, he notes, many. For some, it is Ricoeur’s famously indirect style of presentation, in which the polarities of argument and exegesis seem so often and so suddenly to have reversed themselves. For others, it is the extraordinary intellectual range of Ricoeur’s argument, drawing on traditions as distant from each other as Heideggerian existentialism, French structuralism, and Anglo-American analytic philosophy. Yet beneath the labyrinthian surface of Ricoeur’s Temps et récit, Dowling reveals a single extended argument that, though developed unsystematically, is meant to be understood in systematic terms. Ricoeur on Time and Narrative presents that argument in clear and concise terms, in a way that will be enlightening both to readers new to Ricoeur and those who may have felt themselves adrift in the complexities of Temps et récit, Ricoeur’s last major philosophical work. Dowling divides his discussion into six chapters, all closely involved with specific arguments in Temps et récit: on mimesis, time, narrativity, semantics of action, poetics of history, and poetics of fiction. Additionally, Dowling provides a preface that lays out the French intellectual context of Ricoeur's philosophical method. An appendix presents his English translation of a personal interview in which Ricoeur, having completed Time and Narrative, looks back over his long career as an internationally renowned philosopher. Ricoeur on Time and Narrative communicates to readers the intellectual excitement of following Ricoeur’s dismantling of established theories and arguments—Aristotle and Augustine and Husserl on time, Frye and Greimas on narrative structure, Arthur Danto and Louis O. Mink on the nature of historical explanation—while coming to see how, under the pressure of Ricoeur’s analysis, these ideas are reconstituted and revealed in a new set of relations to one another.
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About the author

William C. Dowling is University Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University. In literary theory, he is the author of Jameson, Althusser, Marx: An Introduction to the Political Unconscious and The Senses of the Text: Intensional Semantics and Literary Theory.

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Publisher
University of Notre Dame Pess
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Published on
Oct 30, 2011
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Pages
136
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ISBN
9780268077976
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / European / French
Philosophy / Criticism
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Modern
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This content is DRM protected.
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William C. Dowling
The eighteenth-century verse epistle, argues William Dowling, was an attempt to solve in literary terms the dilemma of solipsism as raised by Locke and Hume. The focus of The Epistolary Moment is on internal audience in poetry--the audience "inside" the poem, created by its discourse and belonging to its world--as this divides in epistolary poetry into a double or simultaneous register of address: the audience directly addressed by the letter-writer, and an epistolary audience listening in on the exchange from a point external to the discourse of the speaker but internal to the discourse of the poem. Epistolary audience lies, contends The Epistolary Moment, at the heart of an Augustan theory of poetry as ideological intervention, poems as symbolic acts with enormous consequences in the domain of the real. The emergence of the verse epistle as the dominant form in eighteenth-century poetry thus takes as its ultimate context the origins of eighteenth-century solipsism in a degraded modernity symbolized by Sir Robert Walpole and his Robinocracy, the demonic representatives of a new money or market society arising from the ruins of organic or traditional community.

Originally published in 1991.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

William C. Dowling
The eighteenth-century verse epistle, argues William Dowling, was an attempt to solve in literary terms the dilemma of solipsism as raised by Locke and Hume. The focus of The Epistolary Moment is on internal audience in poetry--the audience "inside" the poem, created by its discourse and belonging to its world--as this divides in epistolary poetry into a double or simultaneous register of address: the audience directly addressed by the letter-writer, and an epistolary audience listening in on the exchange from a point external to the discourse of the speaker but internal to the discourse of the poem. Epistolary audience lies, contends The Epistolary Moment, at the heart of an Augustan theory of poetry as ideological intervention, poems as symbolic acts with enormous consequences in the domain of the real. The emergence of the verse epistle as the dominant form in eighteenth-century poetry thus takes as its ultimate context the origins of eighteenth-century solipsism in a degraded modernity symbolized by Sir Robert Walpole and his Robinocracy, the demonic representatives of a new money or market society arising from the ruins of organic or traditional community.

Originally published in 1991.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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