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Ricoeur, Literature and Imagination (Paperback)
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Ricoeur, Literature and Imagination (Paperback)

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£31.99
Paperback 248 Pages / Published: 27/08/2015
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"To explain more is to understand better". This is the mantra by which French philosopher Paul Ricoeur lived and worked, establishing himself as one of the twentieth century's most lucid and broad-ranging critical thinkers. A prisoner of war at 27, Ricoeur was also Dean of Paris X Nanterre during the student disturbances of 1968. In later years he became an outspoken champion of social justice. In work as in life, Ricoeur was committed to the challenges of conflict and the prospect of authentic resolution. Deeply indebted to phenomenology and the hermeneutical tradition of Heidegger and Gadamer, Ricoeur was also an advocate of structural linguistics, of psychoanalysis, and a rare conversant with the Anglo-American analytic tradition. This volume explores how literature and the conflicts of literary-theoretical debate inform Ricoeur's theory of imagination and understanding, and how Ricoeur's unique mode of literary reflection resolves the conflicts of literature's theoretical heyday, presaging a new direction for literary studies.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
ISBN: 9781501312243
Number of pages: 248
Weight: 331 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
To Ricoeur's philosophy, Vlacos is an excellent guide. Her writing is attentive and deft, and she is philosophically well-informed ... Vlacos's book valuably proposes that reading Ricoeur will provide theoreticians with some purchase on what it is to be theoretical, or to do theory (after theory) ... Ricoeur, Literature and Imagination is an important book, not just for Ricoeur studies, but also for literary theory. * The Comparatist *
Ricoeur described himself variously as a hermeneutic phenomenologist, post-Hegelian Kantian, biblical exegete, and philosophic anthropologist. To these epithets, Vlacos (English literature, Univ. of Glasgow) adds another--"poststructural modernist." From this perspective, according to Vlacos in this cogent and perceptive study, imaginative works of literature (broadly construed) are semiautonomous entities that over time escape the gravitational pull of their authors yet retain the capacity to project alternative and potentially redemptive modes of living in the world. Summing Up: Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through researchers/faculty. Summing Up: Recommended. Advanced undergraduates through researchers/faculty. -- H. I. Einsohn, Middlesex Community College * CHOICE *
This work presents a wide exploration of the social and intellectual context of Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutical work. The author offers an insightful approach to Ricoeur's intellectual dialogue with classical and modern authors, exploring their diverse relationships. * Forum for Modern Language Studies *
Sophie Vlacos has made an invaluable contribution to the study of both the form and content of Ricouer's thought. In particular, her study meticulously unfolds Ricouer's pre-occupation with the hermeneutic dimensions of literary understanding. The reader will encounter a most persuasive defence of his central claim that symbolic mediation offers a plausible resolution to 'the conflict of interpretations' and the unsettling ethical claims of the other upon us. A formidable achievement! -- Nicholas Davey, Professor of Philosophy, University of Dundee, United Kingdom
... what is particularly impressive about this book is Vlacos's intellectual command and her ability to make even the most difficult ideas comprehensible ... anyone with any interest in theory will find it enlightening about virtually every aspect of contemporary philosophy, particularly post-Heidegger, and literary theory ... clearly this is a major study, not just of Ricoeur, but of contemporary theory and criticism in many of its aspects and can be strongly recommended to anyone with any interest in literary theory. -- K. M. Newton * Modern Language Review *
The clarity and depth of Paul Ricoeur's hermeneutics are what first drew me fully to philosophy. Vlacos accomplishes no small feat in demonstrating why Ricoeur's theories on narrative and imagination and his style of engagement with the history of philosophy are immensely significant and unparalleled. She does a remarkable job interpreting the steps by which Ricoeur returns to the role of the imagination throughout his career and in different guises. This book is extremely well written and an essential source for a wider readership interested in literary theory and the philosophy of imagination. -- Todd Mei, Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Dundee, UK
Sophie Vlacos steers a deft, judicious and immensely well-informed course amidst the numerous schools and movements of thought that Ricoeur himself managed to negotiate with such exemplary skill. Her book shows impressive assurance and command as it follows his often highly critical yet always deeply responsive engagements with hermeneutics, structuralism, post-structuralism, and deconstruction. By electing to focus on just two decades of a near seven-decade authorship - and by choosing just the right period and texts - Vlacos presents us with cogently structured study and one that still succeeds in conveying the extraordinary range of his writings. Above all she makes the case for Ricoeur as having offered a sustained and immensely resourceful alternative to what she sees as the ultimate dead-end of much recent literary theory. Whether or not you agree with her verdict - perhaps especially if you don't - this book will extend and sharpen your grasp of a great many challenging issues. * Professor Christopher Norris, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, Cardiff University, UK *

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