4.11 - 1251 ratings - Source

Philosophers have long debated the subjects of person and personhood. Sharon Cameron ushers this debate into the literary realm by considering impersonality in the works of major American writers and figures of international modernisma€”writers for whom personal identity is inconsequential and even imaginary. In essays on William Empson, Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, T. S. Eliot, and Simone Weil, Cameron examines the impulse to hollow out the core of human distinctiveness, to construct a voice that is no onea€™s voice, to fashion a character without meaningful attributes, a being that is virtually anonymous. a€œTo consent to being anonymous, a€ Weil wrote, a€œis to bear witness to the truth. But how is this compatible with social life and its labels?a€ Throughout these essays Cameron examines the friction, even violence, set in motion from such incompatibilitya€”from a a€œtrutha€ that has no social foundation. Impersonality investigates the uncompromising nature of writing that suspends, eclipses, and even destroys the person as a social, political, or individual entity, of writing that engages with personal identity at the moment when its usual markers vanish or dissolve.three 1 Ralph Waldo Emerson, a€œExperience, a€ in Essays and Lectures, ed. ... In a€œ Self-Reliance, a€ for example, contradictory assertions are adjacent to the essaya#39;s central argument, which is clear: Where the world thinks one thing and the selfanbsp;...

Author:Sharon Cameron
Publisher:University of Chicago Press - 2009-11-15


You Must CONTINUE and create a free account to access unlimited downloads & streaming