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The Writer Writing: Philosophic Acts in Literature

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In an age of authorless, contextless, deconstructed texts, The Writer Writing offers an inquiry into the rich and complex phenomenon of understanding the written word by reconsidering a fundamental concept about agency: writing is an action whose agent is an individual writer. On the most local level, this book offers parallel analyses of Marcel Proust and Bernard Shaw, two writers who made insistent and oddly similar claims about their texts as acts, two contemporaries whose fundamental similarities have been masked by critical technology. On the most global level, it examines the philosophic act of explanation, showing that it is both a constitutive human activity - part of everyday life - and an activity that connects texts as diverse as Saint Joan and A la recherche du temps perdu. It separates for analysis writers' philosophic acts of explanation from their rhetorical acts of persuasion and their poetic acts of representation. The Writer Writing presents a timely and systematic case for reconsidering the genuine originality of individual writers' conceptions of writing as a human activity. Hide synopsis

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Reviews of The Writer Writing: Philosophic Acts in Literature

Overall customer rating: 5.000
MattCorey

Subtle and

by MattCorey on Sep 24, 2009

Coming to the end of In Search of Lost Time I was looking for further reading on Proust. Francis-Noel Thomas' essay quickly came to the rescue. It's a slow-burner of an essay, and the turning point for me came around "Syllabus of Errors," which breaks the extraordinary novel down to its essential events/characters/features. By treating the work as a novel, and writing about it purely as a work of fiction, it allowed me to see (what I think might be) more of Proust's intent, and isolate it from the more confusing view the novel's gotten popularly lately - that's it a hodgepodge of biography and novel. All in all, I had a clearer view of the work as a work of art and was able to see its more distinguished features better after reading. I look forward to reading the rest of the essays in The Writer Writing.

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