The Knowing of Literature

In this essay, I consider the relationship between literature and knowing. In pursuing this reflection, I underscore the way in which historical understanding, as the basis for the organization of knowledge in the human sciences, restricts the epistemological import of the literary. In distinction with this prevailing historical model of literary discourse, I elaborate an understanding of literature – viewed as imaginary projection or idealized discourse – that places in the foreground its necessary role in thinking.