The Value(s) of Literature

The Value(s) of Literature

By (author) 

List price: US$31.95

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

This book addresses the ethical aspects of literature by discussing three major American poets: Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, and A. R. Ammons. It develops a philosophical framework by which an ethics of literature can be construed, and differentiates this view from a purely political criticism on the one hand and a purely "disinterested" criticism on the other. Beginning with Nietzsche's assumption that the world itself is an aesthetic place, Hans shows how an ethic is always inevitably implicit in the aesthetic through which a writer constructs his work. At the same time, he argues that this ethic never tells us how to live our lives; it only presents us with a series of constructs through which we can begin to understand the nature of valuing in the everyday world. The book also examines some of the reasons why academics have resisted the ethical aspects of literature, confronting the two major forces in literary criticism today: political writing (chiefly feminist) and post-structuralist (chiefly deconstructionist) writing. The Value(s) of Literature goes beyond Nietzsche and Derrida's critique of Nietzsche, which does not seriously approach the need for positive evaluation of the world. It is precisely this positive attempt to weigh the value of things anew to which this book is devoted.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 166 pages
  • 147.32 x 223.52 x 12.7mm | 249.47g
  • Albany, NY, United States
  • English
  • Total Illustrations: 0
  • 0791402061
  • 9780791402061

Review quote

"There are very few books that come along that are written with passion and clarity; that develop an important and coherent larger argument; and that in the process illuminate important texts in new ways. This is one of them." -- Ronald A. Sharp, Kenyon College
show more

About James S. Hans

James S. Hans is Professor of English at Wake Forest University.
show more