Literary Power and the Criteria of Truth

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University Press of Florida, 1995 - 183 strán (strany)
"With both originality and a central sense of literary value, Quinney has achieved a superb study of a fundamental and universal literary problem: the prestige of tragic views over all others in literature. . . . I think it would interest all literary scholars who brood on the ultimate rationale for their studies. It has changed the way I think about literary tragedy."--Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities, Yale University "Brilliant and striking. . . . Quinney develops a theoretical approach to literature which is fresh and surprising, drawing upon an extremely sophisticated grasp of recent literary-theoretical and philosophical debate, and yet which appeals for its authority to the experience of the 'common reader.'"--Steven Shaviro, University of Washington Laura Quinney examines the association of literary power with the prestige of tragedy. She argues that the works of literature most likely to be seen as "deep" or "real" or "true" are those that seem bent on impressing the reader with a dark, harsh view of existence: "Their pessimism, gravity, and glamour go hand in hand."
Quinney studies the phenomenon of tragic prestige in the works of four authors--a poet, an essayist, and two philosophers--whose works have never before been juxtaposed, and she shows how, in spite of their differences, they all aspire to create a "severe style" in which literary power works to confirm the tragic definition of truth. "They were all devoted readers," she writes, "and they all aim to appropriate for their own style, or re-create in their own style, the shock of disappointment and pain that their reading had shown them to be the proper mode of literary power."
Her argument intersects with many of the concerns of recent debates in literary theory and will be of interest to readers studying the connections between philosophy and literature. Laura Quinney, assistant professor of English at Princeton University, is the author of articles on Kafka, Shakespeare, and the sublime.

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Harold Bloom was born on July 11, 1930 in New York City. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Cornell in 1951 and his Doctorate from Yale in 1955. After graduating from Yale, Bloom remained there as a teacher, and was made Sterling Professor of Humanities in 1983. Bloom's theories have changed the way that critics think of literary tradition and has also focused his attentions on history and the Bible. He has written over twenty books and edited countless others. He is one of the most famous critics in the world and considered an expert in many fields. In 2010 he became a founding patron of Ralston College, a new institution in Savannah, Georgia, that focuses on primary texts. His works include Fallen Angels, Till I End My Song: A Gathering of Last Poems, Anatomy of Influence: Literature as a Way of Life and The Shadow of a Great Rock: A Literary Appreciation of The King James Bible.

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