When Words Lose Their Meaning

Author: James Boyd White
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022605604X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Through fresh readings of texts ranging from Homer's Iliad, Swift's Tale of a Tub, and Austen's Emma through the United States Constitution and McCulloch v. Maryland, James Boyd White examines the relationship between an individual mind and its language and culture as well as the "textual community" established between writer and audience. These striking textual analyses develop a rhetoric—a "way of reading" that can be brought to any text but that, in broader terms, becomes a way of learning that can shape the reader's life. "In this ambitious and demanding work of literary criticism, James Boyd White seeks to communicate 'a sense of reading in a new and different way.' . . . [White's] marriage of lawyerly acumen and classically trained literary sensibility—equally evident in his earlier work, The Legal Imagination—gives the best parts of When Words Lose Their Meaning a gravity and moral earnestness rare in the pages of contemporary literary criticism."—Roger Kimball, American Scholar "James Boyd White makes a state-of-the-art attempt to enrich legal theory with the insights of modern literary theory. Of its kind, it is a singular and standout achievement. . . . [White's] selections span the whole range of legal, literary, and political offerings, and his writing evidences a sustained and intimate experience with these texts. Writing with natural elegance, White manages to be insightful and inciteful. Throughout, his timely book is energized by an urgent love of literature and law and their liberating potential. His passion and sincerity are palpable."—Allan C. Hutchinson, Yale Law Journal "Undeniably a unique and significant work. . . . When Words Lose Their Meaning is a rewarding book by a distinguished legal scholar. It is a showcase for the most interesting sort of inter-disciplinary work: the kind that brings together from traditionally separate fields not so much information as ideas and approaches."—R. B. Kershner, Jr., Georgia Review

The Tragic Vision of Politics

Author: Richard Ned Lebow
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521534857
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Exploration of how ethical behaviour in international affairs advances national security.

The Edge of Meaning

Author: James Boyd White
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 9780226894805
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Certain questions are basic to the human condition: how we imagine the world, and ourselves and others within it; how we confront the constraints of language and the limits of our own minds; and how we use imagination to give meaning to past experiences and to shape future ones. These are the questions James Boyd White addresses in The Edge of Meaning, exploring each through its application to great works of Western culture—Huckleberry Finn, the Odyssey, and the paintings of Vermeer among them. In doing so, White creates a deeply moving and insightful book and presents an inspiring conception of mind, language, and the essence of living.

Thucydides and the Pursuit of Freedom

Author: Mary P. Nichols
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 080145557X
Format: PDF, Docs
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In Thucydides and the Pursuit of Freedom, Mary P. Nichols argues for the centrality of the idea of freedom in Thucydides' thought. Through her close reading of his History of the Peloponnesian War, she explores the manifestations of this theme. Cities and individuals in Thucydides' history take freedom as their goal, whether they claim to possess it and want to maintain it or whether they desire to attain it for themselves or others. Freedom is the goal of both antagonists in the Peloponnesian War, Sparta and Athens, although in different ways. One of the fullest expressions of freedom can be seen in the rhetoric of Thucydides’ Pericles, especially in his famous funeral oration. More than simply documenting the struggle for freedom, however, Thucydides himself is taking freedom as his cause. On the one hand, he demonstrates that freedom makes possible human excellence, including courage, self-restraint, deliberation, and judgment, which support freedom in turn. On the other hand, the pursuit of freedom, in one’s own regime and in the world at large, clashes with interests and material necessity, and indeed the very passions required for its support. Thucydides’ work, which he himself considered a possession for all time, therefore speaks very much to our time, encouraging the defense of freedom while warning of the limits and dangers in doing so. The powerful must defend freedom, Thucydides teaches, but beware that the cost not become freedom itself.

Jeremiah Invented

Author: Else K. Holt
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 056725917X
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In the first half of the 20th century there was immense scholarly interest in the biography of the prophet Jeremiah as the background for understanding the development of the book of Jeremiah. Around the turn of the century this interest disappeared, but it has now resurfaced in a transformed configuration as work seeking to analyze the creation of the literary persona, Jeremiah the prophet. This volume examines the construction of Jeremiah in the prophetic book and its afterlife, presenting a wide range of scholarly approaches spanning the understanding of Jeremiah from Old Testament times via the Renaissance to the 20th century, and from theology to the history of literature.

Border Thinking on the Edges of the West

Author: Andrew Davison
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134636601
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Drawing on scholarly and life experience on, and over, the historically posited borders between "West" and "East," the work identifies, interrogates, and challenges a particular, enduring, violent inheritance – what it means to cross over a border – from the classical origins of Western political thought. The study has two parts. The first is an effort to work within the Western tradition to demonstrate its foundational and enduring, violent conception of crossing over borders. The second is a creative effort to explore and encourage a fundamentally different outlook towards borders and what it means to be on, at, or over them. The underlying social theoretical disposition of the work is a form of post-Orientalist hermeneutics; the textual subject matter of the two parts of the study is linked using Walter Benjamin's concept of the storyteller. The underlying premise of the work is that the sense of violent possibility on the borders between "West" and "East" existed well before the more recent "age of imperialism" and even before there was a "West" or an "East" to speak of. That sense is constitutive of a political imagination about borders developed deep within the revered sources of Western culture. On the other hand, confronting the influence of such violent imaginaries requires truly novel modes of hermeneutical openness, hospitality and solidarity. Seeking to offer a new understanding and opening in the study of borders, this work will provide a significant contribution to several areas including international relations theory, border studies and political theory.