Impersonality : Seven Essays

By: Cameron, SharonMaterial type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on DemandPublisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2009Description: 1 online resource (281 p.)ISBN: 9780226091334Subject(s): American literature - History and criticism | American literature -- History and criticism | Edwards, Jonathan - Criticism and interpretation | Edwards, Jonathan, 1703-1758 -- Criticism and interpretation | Eliot, T. S - Criticism and interpretation | Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965 -- Criticism and interpretation | Emerson, Ralph Waldo - Criticism and interpretation | Emerson, Ralph Waldo, 1803-1882 -- Criticism and interpretation | Identity (Psychology) in literature | Identity (Psychology) in literature | Melville, Herman - Criticism and interpretation | Melville, Herman, 1819-1891 -- Criticism and interpretation | Persona (Literature) | Persona (Literature) | Self in literature | Self in literatureGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Impersonality : Seven EssaysDDC classification: 810.9 | 814 | 814/.3 LOC classification: PS169PS169 .S425 C36 2009PS169.S425C36 2007Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1 Introduction by Way of William Empson's Buddha Faces; 2 What Counts as Love: Jonathan Edwards's The Virtue; 3 Representing Grief: Emerson's "Experience"; 4 The Way of Life by Abandonment: Emerson's Impersonal; 5 The Practice of Attention: Simone Weil's Performance of Impersonality; 6 "The Sea's Throat": T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets; 7 "Lines of Stones": The Unpersonified Impersonal in Melville's Billy Budd; Notes; Index
Summary: Philosophers have long debated the subjects of person and personhood. Sharon Cameron ushers this debate into the literary realm by considering impersonality in the works of major American writers and figures of international modernism-writers for whom personal identity is inconsequential and even imaginary. In essays on William Empson, Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, T. S. Eliot, and Simone Weil, Cameron examines the impulse to hollow out the core of human distinctiveness, to construct a voice that is no one's voice, to fashion a character without meaningful attributes, a being that is virtually anonymous. "To consent to being anonymous," Weil wrote, "is to bear witness to the truth. But how is this compatible with social life and its labels?" Throughout these essays Cameron examines the friction, even violence, set in motion from such incompatibility-from a "truth" that has no social foundation. Impersonality investigates the uncompromising nature of writing that suspends, eclipses, and even destroys the person as a social, political, or individual entity, of writing that engages with personal identity at the moment when its usual markers vanish or dissolve.
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Contents; Preface; Acknowledgments; 1 Introduction by Way of William Empson's Buddha Faces; 2 What Counts as Love: Jonathan Edwards's The Virtue; 3 Representing Grief: Emerson's "Experience"; 4 The Way of Life by Abandonment: Emerson's Impersonal; 5 The Practice of Attention: Simone Weil's Performance of Impersonality; 6 "The Sea's Throat": T. S. Eliot's Four Quartets; 7 "Lines of Stones": The Unpersonified Impersonal in Melville's Billy Budd; Notes; Index

Philosophers have long debated the subjects of person and personhood. Sharon Cameron ushers this debate into the literary realm by considering impersonality in the works of major American writers and figures of international modernism-writers for whom personal identity is inconsequential and even imaginary. In essays on William Empson, Jonathan Edwards, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, T. S. Eliot, and Simone Weil, Cameron examines the impulse to hollow out the core of human distinctiveness, to construct a voice that is no one's voice, to fashion a character without meaningful attributes, a being that is virtually anonymous. "To consent to being anonymous," Weil wrote, "is to bear witness to the truth. But how is this compatible with social life and its labels?" Throughout these essays Cameron examines the friction, even violence, set in motion from such incompatibility-from a "truth" that has no social foundation. Impersonality investigates the uncompromising nature of writing that suspends, eclipses, and even destroys the person as a social, political, or individual entity, of writing that engages with personal identity at the moment when its usual markers vanish or dissolve.

Description based upon print version of record.

Author notes provided by Syndetics

Sharon Cameron was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She started out working several different jobs such as: a classical piano teacher, part-time genealogist, chair of a non-profit for a local theater group and a coordinator of the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrator's Midsouth Conference. She soon found her passion for writing and now writes full-time. She made The New York Times Best Seller's List in 2016 with her title, "The Forgetting".

(Bowker Author Biography)

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