Literary studies still lack an extensive comparative analysis of different kinds of literature, including ancient and non-Western. How Literary Worlds Are Shaped. A Comparative Poetics of Literary Imagination aims to provide such a study. Literature, it claims, is based on individual and shared human imagination, which creates literary worlds that blend the real and the fantastic, mimesis and genre, often modulated by different kinds of unreliability. The main building blocks of literary worlds are their oral, visual and written modes and three themes: challenge, perception and relation. They are blended and inflected in different ways by combinations of narratives and figures, indirection, thwarted aspirations, meta-usages, hypothetical action as well as hierarchies and blends of genres and text types. Moreover, literary worlds are not only constructed by humans but also shape their lives and reinforce their sense of wonder. Finally, ten reasons are given in order to show how this comparative view can be of use in literary studies. In sum, How Literary Worlds Are Shaped is the first study to present a wide-ranging and detailed comparative account of the makings of literary worlds.
This book combines Deleuze’s theories of expression and the event of sense to offer a new ontology for postdramatic theatre. In exploring the fluxional field of forces and relations that underlie the order of representation, expressionist mimesis is well suited to account for the ontologically uncertain realities of postdramatic theatre.
Although literature is not a technology, the historical models literary scholars use to describe it owe a great deal to the languages of originality, novelty, progress, and invention that characterize technological development. However this quintessentially modern mindset--putting progress at the center of historicity--makes it difficult for anyone eager to mount a case for why someone interested in the history of modern literary aesthetics ought to read the literature of the non-Western world. In this groundbreaking book, Eric Hayot argues that contemporary debates about world literature and world literary systems can be rethought through an attention to the world-creating force of aesthetic objects. As he rethinks from the ground up our concepts of literary progress and historicity, Hayot re-describes the history of modern literature as we know it (or as we think we know it), developing new concepts and new formal languages to describe the aesthetic "physics" of the socially and imaginatively possible. Connecting this physics to historical shifts in world-view ranging from Copernicus to Marx, Don Quijote to Battlestar Galactica, On Literary Worlds shows how the very notion of the modern is, at heart, a cosmographical social form, and opens vast new directions for the future analysis of the activity and force of literature.