Literary Criticism

Download e-book for kindle: All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find by Hubert Dreyfus, Sean Dorrance Kelly

By Hubert Dreyfus, Sean Dorrance Kelly

ISBN-10: 1416596151

ISBN-13: 9781416596158

An unrelenting circulation of selections confronts us at approximately each second of our lives, and but our tradition bargains us no transparent approach to select. This quandary turns out inevitable, yet in truth it's rather new. In medieval Europe, God's calling used to be a grounding strength. In old Greece, an entire pantheon of shining gods stood able to draw a suitable motion out of you. Like an athlete in "the zone," you have been known as to a harmonious attunement with the area, so absorbed in it that you simply couldn't make a "wrong" selection.

If our tradition now not takes without any consideration a trust in God, will we however get involved with the Homeric moods of ask yourself and gratitude, and be guided by means of the meanings they show? All issues Shining says we will. Hubert Dreyfus and Sean Dorrance Kelly light up many of the maximum works of the West to bare how now we have misplaced our passionate engagement with and responsiveness to the realm. Their trip takes us from the beauty and openness of Homer's polytheism to the monotheism of Dante; from the autonomy of Kant to the a number of worlds of Melville; and, ultimately, to the non secular problems evoked through sleek authors reminiscent of David Foster Wallace and Elizabeth Gilbert.

Dreyfus, a thinker on the collage of California, Berkeley, for 40 years, is an unique philosopher who reveals within the vintage texts of our tradition a brand new relevance for people's daily lives. His full of life, thought-provoking lectures have earned him a podcast viewers that frequently reaches the iTunesU best forty. Kelly, chair of the philosophy division at Harvard college, is an eloquent new voice whose sensitivity to the disappointment of the culture--and to what continues to be of the sweetness and gratitude that can chase it away--captures a iteration adrift.

Re-envisioning glossy religious existence via their exam of literature, philosophy, and non secular testimony, Dreyfus and Kelly unearth historical assets of that means, and educate us easy methods to rediscover the sacred, shining issues that encompass us on a daily basis. This booklet will switch the way in which we comprehend our tradition, our background, our sacred practices, and ourselves. It bargains a new--and very old--way to rejoice and be pleased about our life within the smooth global.

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Additional resources for All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age

Example text

That the snow has a human shape could suggest that perhaps it is a path a human has shaped, a way into the world made by his will and his labor. That the snow is “penitents’ snow” (“den Büßerschnee”) might propose that there be a redemptive route that a person could travel, a figure he could cut, that would constitute a redeemed form of human making (“poein” or perhaps “the like”) free from the shadowed world in which other persons are scarce or inaccessible. But this sense of narrative progress or subjective Bildung would be deceptive.

I say “somewhat,” because Celan has been taken up quite explicitly as an exemplary figure by and for Anglophone poets in the second half of the century in a way that makes him seem central to the division I have been describing and contesting. Celan’s appeal has seemed at once formal and ethical. His reception has foregrounded both the idea that his poems are motivated by or answerable to the most brutal instances of dehumanization in the twentieth century, and the idea that his difficult poems present the problem of regrounding the shattered relation between persons precisely as a problem in “translation” or interpretation.

Just as it is the case that a general account of personhood cannot be derived by averaging the qualities of any number of persons, so too an argument for a poetic tradition’s being a tradition of “non-poems” cannot be derived solely by reading any number of poems. Poems, like persons, are always going about some business of their own, which in the moment seems much more urgent—and certainly more specifiable—than the business of being instances of what they generally, abstractly, essentially are.

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All Things Shining: Reading the Western Classics to Find Meaning in a Secular Age by Hubert Dreyfus, Sean Dorrance Kelly

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