Literature and the Political Imagination by Andrea T. Baumeister, John Horton

By Andrea T. Baumeister, John Horton

This quantity exhibits how smooth political conception could be enriched via an engagement with works of literature. It makes use of the assets of literature to discover concerns similar to nationalism, liberal philosophy, utopiansim, narrative and the function of idea in political thought.
A number of ways are followed and the purpose is to teach many of the many and numerous ways that literature may perhaps increase political theorising, in addition to contemplating a few of the difficulties to which this can provide upward push. The theorists mentioned contain Richard Rorty, Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor, and Martha Nussbaum. There are literary references from Greek tradegy, Jonathan rapid, Brian Moore, Elizabeth Bowen and modern feminist utopian fiction.
All the individuals have a long-standing curiosity within the family members among literature and ethical and political inspiration. they're involved to not be limited by way of traditional educational obstacles and aren't united by way of any party-line or uniformity of highbrow commitments. This quantity may be of significant curiosity to all scholars engaged within the learn of politics and literature.

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39 See particularly Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, London, Duckworth, 1981; and Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989. Gunnell, ‘Relativism: The Return of the Repressed’, Political Theory, 21, 1993. 41 This is a point made most emphatically in Martha Nussbaum, Love’s Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature, New York, Oxford University Press, 1990. 42 For useful introductory surveys of the field of cultural studies see Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula Treichler (eds), Cultural Stud-ies, London, Literature and the Political Imagination 29 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Routledge, 1992; and The Polity Reader in Cultural Studies, Cambridge, Polity Press, 1993.

None the less, the type of loyalty evoked by patriotic poetry is also inevitably limited and additionally frequently adversarial, features which cannot be avoided, she claims, by distinguishing a benign patriotism from a malign nationalism. Canovan’s conclusion, however, is one that might come as a surprise to some liberals. For while it is true that the demands of patriotic loyalty often conflict with the liberal aspiration towards universal moral principles and obligations, liberal humanism may also find an ally in patriotism in its opposition to communal conflict based on ethnic, religious or racial hatred.

I argue overall that neither social theory’s attention to narrative nor work in philosophy and literature can be relied on entirely to provide political theorists with a sufficient basis for bringing literature into their work. 1 PART I Prominent critics, philosophers and social theorists argue for—and to an extent practice—a ‘turn to narrative’; these indications of the potential utility of narrative are recognised in political theory, at least to the extent that ‘narrative’, ‘story’ and ‘story-telling’ are terms in regular usage beyond 34 Maureen Whitebrook the work on, or deriving directly from, particular theorists—Rorty, MacIntyre, Taylor, Nussbaum.

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