The Dark Side of Reason: Fictionality and Power

Stanford University Press, 1992 - 342 sidor
"This compelling, many-faceted work argues that Western culture has always found something profoundly unsettling about imaginative writing and that it has devised various ways of "containing" such writing or at least making it less dangerous. The historical record of censorship and other forms of the containment of literature is relatively well known, though it has been analyzed more often in terms of its effects on literature than its causes. Costa Lima demonstrates that theories of society and of human nature are at stake in these acts of rejection and condemnation." "A new historical consciousness has recently swept across the entire breadth of literary studies. However, Costa Lima shows that this return to history is frequently nothing more than the return of an unexamined old history of literature, merely updated in its vocabulary and reflecting current concerns with such issues as gender or cultural difference. By contrast, he challenges the assumptions of the old history (and therefore of the new, insofar as the latter reinstates the old) and calls for the elaboration of an entirely different perspective on the historical course of literature." "Costa Lima asserts that since the beginning of modernity, Western reason has been shaped in opposition to--and through the repression of--the imaginative faculty, typified by fictionality. He focuses on the history of such concepts as mimesis, individuality, and verisimilitude, and in the process covers a wide range of authors and topics--Cervantes, Diderot, Borges, autobiographical writing, and Latin American literature, among others." "The Dark Side of Reason consists of essays drawn from two books, Sociedade e discurso fictional (1986) and O Fingidor e o censor (1988). It also includes a chapter, written especially for this volume, that discusses Shakespeare's Tempest in the light of Costa Lima's argument about control of the imaginary."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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