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Reading for peace? Literature as activism - an investigation into new literary ethics and the novel

Conference Paper


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Abstract


  • Literary ethicists like Dorothy J Hale and narratologists like James Phelan have argued that the reading process makes literary novels worthy of ethical investigation. That is, itÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿs not just a bookÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿs content ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ which may debate norms and values ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ but the process of reading that inspires the reader to consider Other points of view. This alterity, new ethicists argue, can lead to increased empathy and thus more thoughtful decision-making within the ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿactualÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ world. In fact, Hale (2007: 189) says empathetic literary training is a ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿpre-condition for positive social changeÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ. This may work well theoretically, but what practical issues does it hold for social activists? How useful can literature actually be in the face of dire social issues? Can we ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿreadÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ our way out of poverty and aggressive military intervention? And what would it mean to develop an activism based on reading and empathy? This paper will examine these questions using a framework based on the work of Hale and Phelan. (Hale, 2007)

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Cosgrove, S. "Reading for peace? Literature as activism - an investigation into new literary ethics and the novel." Activating Human Rights and Peace: Universal Responsibility Conference 2008. Ed. R. Garbutt. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2008. 233-239.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1086&context=creartspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/creartspapers/82

Start Page


  • 233

End Page


  • 239

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.scu.edu.au/research/cpsj/human_rights/

Abstract


  • Literary ethicists like Dorothy J Hale and narratologists like James Phelan have argued that the reading process makes literary novels worthy of ethical investigation. That is, itÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿs not just a bookÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿs content ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ which may debate norms and values ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ but the process of reading that inspires the reader to consider Other points of view. This alterity, new ethicists argue, can lead to increased empathy and thus more thoughtful decision-making within the ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿactualÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ world. In fact, Hale (2007: 189) says empathetic literary training is a ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿpre-condition for positive social changeÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ. This may work well theoretically, but what practical issues does it hold for social activists? How useful can literature actually be in the face of dire social issues? Can we ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿreadÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÿ our way out of poverty and aggressive military intervention? And what would it mean to develop an activism based on reading and empathy? This paper will examine these questions using a framework based on the work of Hale and Phelan. (Hale, 2007)

Publication Date


  • 2008

Citation


  • Cosgrove, S. "Reading for peace? Literature as activism - an investigation into new literary ethics and the novel." Activating Human Rights and Peace: Universal Responsibility Conference 2008. Ed. R. Garbutt. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2008. 233-239.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1086&context=creartspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/creartspapers/82

Start Page


  • 233

End Page


  • 239

Place Of Publication


  • http://www.scu.edu.au/research/cpsj/human_rights/