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Politics of Literature

Politics of Literature

Paperback

By (author) Jacques Ranciere

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  • Publisher: Polity Press
  • Format: Paperback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 18mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 15 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0745645313
  • ISBN 13: 9780745645315
  • Sales rank: 211,269

Product description

The politics of literature is not the same as the politics of writers and their commitments, nor does it concern the way writers represent social structures or political struggles. The expression 'politics of literature' assumes that there is a specific connection between politics as a form of collective practice and literature as a historically determined regime of the art of writing. It implies that literature intervenes in the parceling out of space and time, place and identity, speech and noise, the visible and the invisible, that is the arena of the political. This book seeks to show how the literary revolution shatters the perceptible order that underpinned traditional hierarchies, but also why literary equality foils any bid to place literature in the service of politics or in its place. It tests its hypotheses on certain writers: Flaubert, Tolstoy, Hugo, Mallarme, Brecht and Borges, to name a few. It also shows the consequences of this for psychoanalytical intepretation, historical narration and philosophical conceptualization.

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Author information

Jacques Ranciere, University of Paris (St. Denis)

Review quote

"By 'politics of literature' Ranciere means the intervention of the new democratic literature of modernity in the parceling out of space and time. There is more than one democracy at stake here, and no one has tracked their competing claims and contradictory vocations more brilliantly than Ranciere. Every page of this riveting work illuminates and challenges. This is Ranciere at his scintillating best." J.M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

Back cover copy

The politics of literature is not the same as the politics of writers and their commitments, nor does it concern the way writers represent social structures or political struggles. The expression 'politics of literature' assumes that there is a specific connection between politics as a form of collective practice and literature as a historically determined regime of the art of writing. It implies that literature intervenes in the parceling out of space and time, place and identity, speech and noise, the visible and the invisible, that is the arena of the political.This book seeks to show how the literary revolution shatters the perceptible order that underpinned traditional hierarchies, but also why literary equality foils any bid to place literature in the service of politics or in its place. It tests its hypotheses on certain writers: Flaubert, Tolstoy, Hugo, Mallarme, Brecht and Borges, to name a few. It also shows the consequences of this for psychoanalytical intepretation, historical narration and philosophical conceptualization.

Table of contents

Original Sources Hypotheses - The Politics of Literature - Literary Misunderstanding Figures - The Putting to Death of Emma Bovary: Literature, Democracy and Medicine - On the Battlefield: Tolstoy, Literature, History - The Intruder: Mallarme's Politics - The Gay Science of Bertolt Brecht - Borges and French Disease Crossings - The Truth Through the Window: Literary Truth, Freudian Truth - The historian, literature and the genre of biography - The Poet at the philosopher's: Mallarme and Badiou