The Literature of Pity

The Literature of Pity

By: David Punter (author)Hardback

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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 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; Milton's pitiless Christianity; pity and charity in the early novel; Blake's 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.

About Author

David Punter is Professor of English at the University of Bristol. He is the author of many works of literary criticism and of four volumes of poetry.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780748639496
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 256
  • ID: 9780748639496
  • weight: 455
  • ISBN10: 0748639497

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