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How to do things with fictions

Author: Joshua Landy
Publisher: New York : Oxford University Press, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"Why does Mark's Jesus speak in parables? Why does Plato's Socrates make bad arguments? Why are Beckett's novels so inscrutable? And why don't stage magicians even pretend to summon spirits anymore? In a series of captivating chapters on Mark, Plato, Beckett, Mallarmé, and Chaucer, Joshua Landy not only answers these questions but explains why they are worth asking in the first place. Witty and approachable, How to  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Joshua Landy
ISBN: 9780195188561 019518856X
OCLC Number: 754908680
Description: xiii, 250 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Introduction --
Chaucer : ambiguity and ethics --
Mark : metaphor and faith --
Mallarmé : irony and enchantment --
Plato : fallacy and logic --
Beckett : antithesis and tranquility.
Responsibility: Joshua Landy.
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Abstract:

How to Do Things with Fictions considers how fictional works, ranging from Chaucer to Beckett, subject readers to a series of exercises meant to fortify their mental capacities.  Read more...

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Joshua Landy's captivating book, How to Do Things with Fictions, dispenses with the usual pieties about what we stand to gain from literary works. In their place, he advances a compelling theory that Read more...

 
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schema:description""Why does Mark's Jesus speak in parables? Why does Plato's Socrates make bad arguments? Why are Beckett's novels so inscrutable? And why don't stage magicians even pretend to summon spirits anymore? In a series of captivating chapters on Mark, Plato, Beckett, Mallarmé, and Chaucer, Joshua Landy not only answers these questions but explains why they are worth asking in the first place. Witty and approachable, How to Do Things with Fictions challenges the widespread assumption that literary texts must be informative or morally improving in order to be of any real benefit. It reveals that authors are sometimes best thought of not as entertainers or as educators but as personal trainers of the brain, putting their willing readers through exercises designed to fortify specific mental capacities, from form-giving to equanimity, from reason to faith. Delivering plenty of surprises along the way--that moral readings of literature can be positively dangerous; that the parables were deliberately designed to be misunderstood; that Plato knowingly sets his main character up for a fall; that metaphor is powerfully connected to religious faith; that we can sustain our beliefs even when we suspect them to be illusions--How to Do Things with Fictions convincingly shows that our best allies in the struggle for more rigorous thinking, deeper faith, richer experience, and greater peace of mind may well be the imaginative writings sitting on our shelves."--Jacket."@en
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