The consolations of writing : literary strategies of resistance from Boethius to Primo Levi (Book, 2017) [WorldCat.org]
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The consolations of writing : literary strategies of resistance from Boethius to Primo Levi
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The consolations of writing : literary strategies of resistance from Boethius to Primo Levi

Author: Rivkah Zim
Publisher: Princeton ; Oxford : Princeton University Press, [2017]
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Boethius wrote The Consolation of Philosophy as a prisoner condemned to death for treason, circumstances that are reflected in the themes and concerns of its evocative poetry and dialogue between the prisoner and his mentor, Lady Philosophy. This classic philosophical statement of late antiquity has had an enduring influence on Western thought. It is also the earliest example of what Rivkah Zim identifies as a  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Rivkah Zim
ISBN: 9780691161808 0691161801 9780691176130 0691176132
OCLC Number: 1023583244
Description: viii, 323 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Introduction --
In defence of civilization. The disciplines of reason and lyric poetry: Anicius Boethius, of The consolation of philosophy (c. 524-5): the foundations of resistance in dialogue and lyric --
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Letters and papers from prison (1943-45): Christian ethics and lyric --
Creative dialogues with textual partners, past and present: Thomas More, A dialogue of comfort against tribulation: a political guide to the dilemmas of religious conscience (1534-35) --
Antonio Gramsci, Prison letters (1926-37): dialogue in dialectic --
Preservation of self. Memory and the prisoner: self-justification in images of grace and disgrace abounding: John Bunyan, Grace abounding to the chief of sinners (1666): writing the eternally present self --
Oscar Wilde, De profundis (1897): a pastoral letter of disgrace abounding --
Memorial narratives as salvation for the feminine self: Marie-Jeanne Roland, Memoirs (1793): writing history herself --
Anne Frank, The diary and Tales from the secret annexe (1942-44): life writing --
The consolations of imagination and lyric poetry: Jean Cassou, Trente-trois sonnets composés au secret/33 sonnets of the resistance (1943): preserving the liberty of a poet --
Irina Ratushinskaya, Pencil letter and No, I'm not afraid (1982-86): preserving the conviction of a poet. Testimony for mankind with hindsight and beyond resistance: Primo Levi, If this is a man (1947) and Ad ora incerta (1947-86): resisting the demolition of a man --
Primo Levi, Moments of reprieve (1981): in defence of a civilization --
Conclusions: beyond testimony.
Responsibility: Rivkah Zim.

Abstract:

Boethius wrote The Consolation of Philosophy as a prisoner condemned to death for treason, circumstances that are reflected in the themes and concerns of its evocative poetry and dialogue between the prisoner and his mentor, Lady Philosophy. This classic philosophical statement of late antiquity has had an enduring influence on Western thought. It is also the earliest example of what Rivkah Zim identifies as a distinctive and vitally important medium of literary resistance: writing in captivity by prisoners of conscience and persecuted minorities. The Consolations of Writing reveals why the great contributors to this tradition of prison writing are among the most crucial figures in Western literature. Zim pairs writers from different periods and cultural settings, carefully examining the rhetorical strategies they used in captivity, often under the threat of death. She looks at Boethius and Dietrich Bonhoeffer as philosophers and theologians writing in defense of their ideas, and Thomas More and Antonio Gramsci as politicians in dialogue with established concepts of church and state. Different ideas of grace and disgrace occupied John Bunyan and Oscar Wilde in prison; Madame Roland and Anne Frank wrote themselves into history in various forms of memoir; and Jean Cassou and Irina Ratushinskaya voiced their resistance to totalitarianism through lyric poetry that saved their lives and inspired others. Finally, Primo Levi's writing after his release from Auschwitz recalls and decodes the obscenity of systematic genocide and its aftermath. A moving and powerful testament, The Consolations of Writing speaks to some of the most profound questions about life, enriching our understanding of what it is to be human.--

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Honorable Mention for the 2015 Rene Wellek Prize, American Comparative Literature Association "[A] revelatory study... Zim's close readings of these in-tandem texts bear haunting witness to enduring Read more...

 
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