Woodward, Questioning Identity. Gender, Class, Nation. Gender, Class, Ethnicity (Understanding Social Change), 8. success in the field, and her self-conscious choice to live GENDER, IDENTITY, AND THE CITY IN ANN PATCHETT'S THE ...
Author: Regina Rudaitytė
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Category: Literary Criticism
The essays in this volume focus on the text-world dichotomy that has been a pivotal problem since Plato, implicating notions of mimesis and representation and raising a series of debatable issues. Do literary texts relate only to the fictional world and not to the real one? Do they not only describe but also perform and thus create and transform reality? Is literature a mere reflection/expression of society, a field and a tool of political manipulations, a playground to exercise ideological and social power? Herbert Grabes’ seminal essay “Literature in Society/Society and Its Literature”, which opens this volume, perfectly captures the essential functions of literature in society, whether it be Derridean belief in a revolutionary potential of literature, “the power of literature to say everything”, or Hillis Miller’s view of literature having the potential to create or reveal alternative realities; or, according to Grabes, the ability of literature “to offer to society a possibility of self-reflection by way of presenting a double of what is held to be reality”; and, last but not least, the ability of literature “to considerably contribute to the joy of life by enabling a particular kind of pleasure” – the pleasure of reading literature. The subsequent essays collected in this volume deal with complex relations between Literature and Society, approaching this issue from different angles and in various historical epochs. They are on diverse thematics and written from diverse theoretical perspectives, differing in scope and methodology.