By Jefferson Humphries
Why do americans, and so usually, American writers, profess ethical sentiments and but write so little within the characteristically "moralistic" genres of maxim and delusion? what's the relation among "moral" matters and literary idea? Can any kind of morality live on the intended nihilism of deconstruction? Jefferson Humphries undertakes a dialogue of questions like those via a comparative examining of the ways that ethical concerns floor in French and American literature. Humphries takes factor with the "amoral" view of deconstruction espoused via a lot of its detractors, arguing that the controversy among the theory's advocates and competitors comes all the way down to opposing literary and ethical traditions. whereas the yankee culture perspectives morality as a inflexible method able to being enforced through injunctions alongside the strains of "Thou shalt" and "Thou shalt not," the French culture conceives of morality as a functionality of a constant and unsentimental pursuit of fact, and eventually, an admission that "truth" isn't really a static factor, yet particularly an ongoing strategy of rigorous idea
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Extra info for The puritan and the cynic : moralists and theorists in French and American letters
He then struck at it with a stick, but struck only the Groundsel, and broke the Stick. The Arm with which he struck was presently Disenabled, and it vanished away. He presently went out at the Back-Door, and spyed this Bishop, in her Orchard, going toward her House; but he had not power to set one foot forward unto her. " So it sprang back, and flew over the Apple Tree, shaking many Apples off the Tree, in its flying over. At its Leap, it flung Dirt with its Feet against the Stomach of the Aphorism and Theology 35 Man; whereon he was then struck Dumb, and so continued for three Days together.
That insecurity, the hidden, unspeakable burden of puritan thought, would express itself most explicitly in the fear of witchcraft. The science of typology expresses hope whose desperation is apparent in the rather dogmatic fervency of its proponents. Typology wishes to suppose that there is a unity and a wholeness about human perception, the natural world, and language itself; that, in linguistic terms, there is an irreducible unity binding the parts of every sign—the word or letter, its meaning, and the object or idea referred to.
But there is little joy in Poor Richard, no expansive generosity, no room for the carefree, unpremeditated spirit. (Lopez and Herbert, 38-39) In fact, the proportion of Richard's maxims dealing with money is relatively small, but it is for them that the almanacs, and Franklin as a writer of maxims, are remembered. It is those particular maxims, many of which were collected in Richard Saunders' most popular work, The Way to Wealth, that elicited the most enthusiastic response in the American mind of the day.