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The Literature of Pity David Punter

The Literature of Pity

David Punter

Published April 30th 2014
ISBN : 9780748639496
Hardcover
190 pages
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 About the Book 

This book traces an entire history of pity, as an emotion and as an element in the arts. Pity represents a combination of fear, helplessness and overwhelming agitation. It is a term which suffuses our everyday lives, it is also a dangerous termMoreThis book traces an entire history of pity, as an emotion and as an element in the arts. Pity represents a combination of fear, helplessness and overwhelming agitation. It is a term which suffuses our everyday lives, it is also a dangerous term hovering between approval of sympathy and disapproval of emotional wallowing (as in self-pity). David Punter here engages with a wealth of theoretical ideas to explore the literature of pity, including Freud, Derrida, Levinas and others. He begins with an Introduction: Distinguishing Pity- followed by chapters on the Aristotelian framework- Buddhism and pity- the pieta in the Middle Ages and Renaissance- Shakespeare on pity- Miltons pitiless Christianity- pity and charity in the early novel- Blakes views on pity- the Victorian debate- from Austen to Dickens and George Eliot- Brecht and Chekhov on pity and self-pity- war, and the pity of war- Jean Rhys and Stevie Smith- pity, immigration and the colony and finally three contemporary texts by Michel Faber, Kazuo Ishiguro and Cormac McCarthy.