The Literature of Pity (Hardback)David Punter (author)
Hardback 256 Pages / Published: 31/03/2014
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This book traces an entire history of pity, as an emotion and as an element in the arts. Pity represents a combination of fear, helplessness and overwhelming agitation. It is a term which suffuses our everyday lives, it is also a dangerous term hovering between approval of sympathy and disapproval of emotional wallowing (as in 'self-pity'). David Punter here engages with a wealth of theoretical ideas to explore the literature of pity, including Freud, Derrida, Levinas and others. He begins with an 'Introduction: Distinguishing Pity'; followed by chapters on the Aristotelian framework; Buddhism and pity; the pieta in the Middle Ages and Renaissance; Shakespeare on pity; Milton's pitiless Christianity; pity and charity in the early novel; Blake's views on pity; the Victorian debate; from Austen to Dickens and George Eliot; Brecht and Chekhov on pity and self-pity; 'war, and the pity of war'; Jean Rhys and Stevie Smith; pity, immigration and the colony and finally three contemporary texts by Michel Faber, Kazuo Ishiguro and Cormac McCarthy.
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Number of pages: 256
Weight: 455 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm
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