Philosophical Meta-Reflections on Literary Studies

Philosophical Meta-Reflections on Literary Studies

Why Do Things with Texts, and What to Do with Them?

By Jibu Mathew George

‘Philosophical Meta-Reflections on Literary Studies: Why Do Things with Texts, and What to Do with Them?’ takes up key meta-questions in the humanities, with focus on contemporary literary studies, philosophically examines the nature of knowledge therein as well as the implications of certain popular critical approaches, and addresses the effervescent question of ‘relevance’.

Hardback, 134 Pages

ISBN:9781785271717

November 2019

£80.00, $125.00

  • About This Book
  • Reviews
  • Author Information
  • Series
  • Table of Contents
  • Links

About This Book

‘Philosophical Meta-Reflections on Literary Studies: Why Do Things with Texts, and What to Do with Them?’ takes up key meta-questions in the humanities, with focus on contemporary literary studies, philosophically examines the nature of knowledge therein as well as the implications of certain popular critical approaches, and addresses the effervescent question of ‘relevance’. In contrast to usual works on literary theory, or on philosophy of literature for that matter, this book presents an integrated meta-reasoning on the foundational questions of literary studies from an interdisciplinary perspective – in a manner of intertextual informality. It endeavours to articulate a rationale for the humanities in general and literary studies in particular. It philosophically examines the implications of, and assumptions behind, three popular tendencies in contemporary literary criticism – textual deconstruction, ideological criticism and constructivism. It also introduces the reader to possibilities of non-reductive reasoning with regard to the relation between the aesthetic and the political. With his multidisciplinary background, doctoral degree on an encyclopedic author who extended the frontiers of fiction with his highly experimental writings (James Joyce) and past engagements with vital issues in the humanities/literature, Jibu George is in a position to deal with foundational questions therein. The book endeavours to fill the gap between theory and practice; its metacritical reflections redefine the way critics interpret texts, teachers teach them, students study them and researchers grapple with their research problems. It also proposes an array of new concepts for the understanding of literature which have a significance beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Reviews

‘Jibu George’s Philosophical Meta-Reflections on Literary Studies is an anatomy or perhaps an x-ray of the assumptions that drive most literary scholarship today. At every turn, I found the book refreshing and provoking. Philosophical Meta-Reflections deserves wide attention.’
—Roland Greene, Professor, Stanford University, USA

‘Compact yet wide-ranging, abreast of current developments yet tinged with wise scepticism, probing relentlessly yet delicately into the no longer securely available meaning of reading and studying literature, this book delights and challenges at once.’
—Galin Tihanov, George Steiner Professor of Comparative Literature, Queen Mary University of London

Author Information

Jibu Mathew George is assistant professor in the Department of Indian and World Literatures, School of Literary Studies, the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad, India. He is the author of The Ontology of Gods: An Account of Enchantment, Disenchantment, and Re-Enchantment (2017) and Ulysses Quotīdiānus: James Joyce’s Inverse Histories of the Everyday (2016).

Series

Anthem Series on Thresholds and Transformations

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Introduction; The Why and Wherefore of Academic Disciplines: The Humanities and the Human World Process; If Literature were to Disappear from the Spectrum of Disciplines…; Beyond for and Against: Tendencies of Contemporary Criticism; The Aesthetic and the Political; References; Index.

Links

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