In this Book

summary

"Classrooms and curricula should be structured to foster the playful interaction that can teach students how to negotiate social and political differences in an emancipatory, noncoercive manner.... Teaching reading as a playful exercise of reciprocity with otherness can help prepare students for a democracy understood as a community of communities."—from the "Pedagogical Postscript"

Reading is socially useful, in Paul B. Armstrong's view, and can model democratic interaction by a community unconstrained by the need to build consensus but aware of the dangers of violence, irrationality, and anarchy. Reading requires mutual recognition but need not culminate in agreement, Armstrong says; instead, the social potential of reading arises from the active exchange of attitudes, ideas, and values between author and reader and among readers. Play and the Politics of Reading, which has important implications for education, draws on Wolfgang Iser's notion of free play to offer a valuable response to social problems.

Armstrong finds that Joseph Conrad, E. M. Forster, Henry James, and James Joyce provide apt examples of the politics of reading, for reasons both literary and political. In making the transition from realism to modernism, these authors experimented with narrative strategies that seek simultaneously to represent the world and to question the means of representation itself. The formal ambiguities and complexities of such texts as Howards End and Ulysses are ways of staging for the reader the difficulties and opportunities of a world of differences. Innovative formal structures challenge readers to reconsider their assumptions and beliefs about social issues.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xvi
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  1. Part One: Theory
  1. 1. The Politics of Reading: Nonconsensual Reciprocity and the Negotiation of Differences
  2. pp. 2-21
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  1. 2. Play, Power, and Difference: The Social Implications of Iscr's Aesthetic Theory
  2. pp. 22-41
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  1. 3. Being "Out of Place": Edward Said and the Contradictions of Cultural Differences
  2. pp. 42-60
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  1. Part Two: Criticism
  1. 4. Art and the Construction of Community in "The Death of the Lion"
  2. pp. 62-73
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  1. 5. Historicizing Conrad: Temporal Form and the Politics of Reading
  2. pp. 74-92
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  1. 6. Misogyny and the Ethics of Reading: The Problem of Conrad's Chance
  2. pp. 93-108
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  1. 7. Liberalism and the Politics of Form: The Ambiguous Narrative Voice in Howards End
  2. pp. 109-126
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  1. 8. Reading India: The Double Turns of Forster's Pragmatism
  2. pp. 127-143
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  1. 9. James Joyce and the Politics of Reading: Power, Belief, and Justice in Ulysses
  2. pp. 144-176
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  1. Pedagogical Postscript: Liberal Education, the English Major, and Pluralistic Literacy
  2. pp. 177-192
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 193-202
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 203-207
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781501720659
Related ISBN
9780801443251
MARC Record
OCLC
1080551359
Pages
224
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Language
English
Open Access
No
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