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Title: A Wrinkle in History: Essays in Literature and Philosophy Author:  William Egginton Series:  Contemporary European Cultural Studies Imprint:  The Davies Group, Publishers soft cover 303 pp. USD 26.00 ISBN 9781888570939 October  2006 The essays collected in this volume, although written on subjects as historically and thematically disparate as medieval theology and contemporary neopragmatism, nevertheless share a common focus or question: what is the relevance of philosophy for thinking about politics, literature, or, more generally, history? This last is perhaps the most fundamental in that it encompasses all the others. On the one hand, all discourse, be it philosophical, political, or literary, has its history and is thus, perhaps irremediably, limited or constrained by that history. On the other, politics, literature and, most obviously, philosophy all strive to articulate visions that transcend the historical constraints of their production. The paradox that these contravening forces engender finds a particularly persistent expression in the fields of the humanities, and perhaps most clearly in the study of literature, in which scholars have increasingly felt the obligation to define themselves as being primarily either historians or theorists. The acceptance of this divide leads to a pitched battle of styles, between those who deride theoretically minded scholars as presentists whose contamination of the past with faddish theories deprive their conclusions of any plausible claim to truth, and an opposing camp that criticizes in historicists a lack of theoretical sophistication that relegates their conclusions to the irrelevant torpor of mere academic bookkeeping. Contents Forward: Between History and Theory 1. A Wrinkle in Historical Time 2. On Dante, Hyperspheres, and the Curvature of the Medieval Cosmos 3. Mimesis and Theatricality 4. On Relativism, Rights and Differends, or, Ethics and the American Holocaust 5. Cervantes, Romantic Irony, and the Making of Reality 6. Psychoanalysis and the Comedia: Skepticism and the Paternal Function in La vida es sueño 7. Intimacy and Anonymity, or How the Audience Became a Crowd 8. Reality is Bleeding: A Brief History of Film from the Sixteenth Century 9. Keeping Pragmatism Pure: Rorty with Lacan Notes Author William Egginton is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and Chair of the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at the John Hopkins University, where he teaches on Spanish and Latin American literature, literary theory, and the relation between literature and philosophy. He is the author of How the World Became a Stage (2003), Perversity and Ethics (2006), A Wrinkle in History (2007), The Philosopher's Desire (2007), and The Theater of Truth (2010). He is also co-editor with Mike Sandbothe of The Pragmatic Turn in Philosophy (2004), translator of Lisa Block de Behar's Borges, the Passion of an Endless Quotation (2003), and co-editor with David E. Johnson of Thinking With Borges (2009). His most recent book, In Defense of Religious Moderation, was published by Columbia University Press in 2011.
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