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Escaping the Politics of the Irredeemable Earth? Anarchy and Transcendence in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon

Molloy, Sean P (2010) Escaping the Politics of the Irredeemable Earth? Anarchy and Transcendence in the Novels of Thomas Pynchon. Theory and Event, 13 (3). p. 1. ISSN 1092-311X. (doi:10.1353/tae.2010.0004) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/tae.2010.0004

Abstract

In her discussion of Orwell’s 1984, Judith Shklar makes a compelling case for the use of literature in political theory contra the Platonic opposition to the poets. She concludes that political theory is not tied to an external reality, but rather is part of the ‘languages of the republic of letters’ and that it is by ‘attending carefully to all imaginative and scholarly literature’ that one can ‘establish the historical identity of ideas’ (Shklar, 1985, 17). The advantage of widening political theory’s compass to include literature is that this allows a greater capacity to play out the potentialities inherent in political theory, as literature, ‘illustrates, dramatizes, personalizes, and raises the questions that political theory asks and the ideas it suggests. It even helps us to tell our stories, and indeed may even help us to decide what story to tell and how to go about it’ (Shklar, 1985, 17). Richard Rorty goes further when he states: ‘Fiction … gives us the details about kinds of suffering being endured by people to whom we had previously not attended. Fiction … gives us the details about what sorts of cruelty we ourselves are capable of, and thereby lets us redescribe ourselves. That is why the novel, the movie, and the TV program have, gradually but steadily, replaced the sermon and the treatise as the principal vehicles of moral change and progress’ (Rorty, 1989, xvi).

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1353/tae.2010.0004
Additional information: number of additional authors: 0;
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Stewart Brownrigg
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2014 00:05 UTC
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2019 03:05 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/40283 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Molloy, Sean P: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5074-3433
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