Peter Lamarques refreshing, polemical anthology on the philosophy of literature covers the field's key debates: the role of the author, literary appreciation, the nature of fiction, the pleasures of tragedy, and the question of censorship. After a comprehensive and engaging introduction, five robust essays examine the central themes of the aesthetics of literature. A significant feature of the CYBEREDITIONS edition is Lamarque's new Preface, which includes an up-dated bibliography.
There is an excellent introduction in which Peter Lamarque summarizes the individual essays and explains their relationship both to one another and to important issues in literary theory. The articles are all of a high standard, and those of Colin Lyas and Peter Lamarque are quite outstanding. Lyas argues tellingly against Beardsley's idea that literary works are autonomous aesthetic objects, and Lamarque offers a similarly controversial but penetrating and exciting account of the logic of fiction. A lively and engaging volume. - David Novitz, Philosophy and Literature
No sign here of the low-key pragmatism which denies philosophy any kind of foundational or legislative function. Lamarque sticks up for the unfashionable view that talk of characters can be meaningful, literal and true. On its own terms his argument is lucid and persuasive. This comes in part from his reckoning seriously with the opposing (theoretical) position on such matters as narrative viewpoint and the implied author. - Christopher Norris, Times Literary Supplement
What the essays share is a non-technical clarity of presentation, a concern to solve the problems they deal with, and a high standard of argument. Anyone seriously interested in the aesthetics of literature will find much of interest in these essays - an excellent introduction to the subject. - Malcolm Budd, Times Higher Education Supplement
It is fair to say that all the essays are methodologically analytic. They are well argued and knowledgeable about other writings on the topic, and they present controversial points of view. - Judith Genova, Choice
Peter Lamarque is Ferens Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hull.
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