The Literature of Pity
The Literature of Pity
Edinburgh University Press

The Literature of Pity

  • Publish Date: 2014-04-30
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: David Punter

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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. His chapters cover Distinguishing Pity , 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.

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