Meetings of the Mind

Princeton University Press
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Comic in tone and serious in intent, this book gives a vivid portrait of academic life in the nineties. With campus populations and critical perspectives changing rapidly, academic debate needs to look beyond the old ideal of common purposes and communal agreement. How can we learn from people we won't end up agreeing with?

This question is explored by four very different scholars, who meet and argue at a series of comparative literature conferences: David Damrosch, liberal humanist and organizer of the group; Vic Addams, an independent scholar of aesthetic leanings (and author of The Utility of Futility); Marsha Doddvic, a feminist film theorist; and the Israeli semiotician Dov Midrash. Throughout the 1990s, in four cities, they meet and debate the problems of disciplinary definition and survival, the relation of literary theory to society, the politics of cultural studies, and the virtues and vices of autobiographical criticism.

As their partly antagonistic, increasingly serious, surprisingly fond, and always funny relationship develops, Damrosch seeks common ground with his friends despite the fundamental differences among them. Can a self-parodying deconstructionist and a Proust aficionado appreciate and improve each other's work? Can a wealthy, windsurfing medievalist and a champion of Chicana lesbian memoir find friendship?

Hilarious exchanges and comic moments, as well as cameo appearances by well-known theorists, will entertain all literary-minded readers. Academic insiders will also be reminded of the foibles and quirks of their own disciplines and departments. At the same time, this exploration of the uses and abuses of literary and cultural criticism offers a running commentary on identity politics and poses serious questions about the state and future of the academy.

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About the author

David Damrosch is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is the author of The Narrative Covenant and We Scholars: Changing the Culture of the University and the general editor of The Longman Anthology of British Literature.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Nov 22, 2010
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Pages
232
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ISBN
9781400823826
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Language
English
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Genres
Literary Criticism / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The new edition of this highly popular guide, How to Read World Literature, addresses the unique challenges and joys faced when approaching the literature of other cultures and eras. Fully revised to address important developments in World Literature, and generously expanded with new material, this second edition covers a wide variety of genres – from lyric and epic poetry to drama and prose fiction – and discusses how each form has been used in different eras and cultures. An ideal introduction for those new to the study of World Literature, as well as beginners to ancient and foreign literature, this book offers a variety of "modes of entry" to reading these texts. The author, a leading authority in the field, draws on years of teaching experience to provide readers with ways of thinking creatively and systematically about key issues, such as reading across time and cultures, reading works in translation, emerging global perspectives, postcolonialism, orality and literacy, and more. Accessible and enlightening, offers readers the tools to navigate works as varied as Homer, Sophocles, Kalidasa, Du Fu, Dante, Murasaki, Moliere, Kafka, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott Fully revised and expanded to reflect the changing face of the study of World Literature, especially in the English-speaking world Now includes more major authors featured in the undergraduate World Literature syllabus covered within a fuller critical context Features an entirely new chapter on the relationship between World Literature and postcolonial literature

How to Read World Literature, Second Edition is an excellent text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in World Literature. It is also a fascinating and informative read for all readers with an interest in foreign and ancient literature and the history of civilization.

The new edition of this highly popular guide, How to Read World Literature, addresses the unique challenges and joys faced when approaching the literature of other cultures and eras. Fully revised to address important developments in World Literature, and generously expanded with new material, this second edition covers a wide variety of genres – from lyric and epic poetry to drama and prose fiction – and discusses how each form has been used in different eras and cultures. An ideal introduction for those new to the study of World Literature, as well as beginners to ancient and foreign literature, this book offers a variety of "modes of entry" to reading these texts. The author, a leading authority in the field, draws on years of teaching experience to provide readers with ways of thinking creatively and systematically about key issues, such as reading across time and cultures, reading works in translation, emerging global perspectives, postcolonialism, orality and literacy, and more. Accessible and enlightening, offers readers the tools to navigate works as varied as Homer, Sophocles, Kalidasa, Du Fu, Dante, Murasaki, Moliere, Kafka, Wole Soyinka, and Derek Walcott Fully revised and expanded to reflect the changing face of the study of World Literature, especially in the English-speaking world Now includes more major authors featured in the undergraduate World Literature syllabus covered within a fuller critical context Features an entirely new chapter on the relationship between World Literature and postcolonial literature

How to Read World Literature, Second Edition is an excellent text for undergraduate and postgraduate courses in World Literature. It is also a fascinating and informative read for all readers with an interest in foreign and ancient literature and the history of civilization.

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