Wednesday, January 14, 2015

This Thing Called Literature - A Book Worth Delving Into

Buzzingtales doesn't generally feature articles about things it has not reviewed first hand. However there have always been some exceptions to this rule, as in this case. Being a lover of literature my antennas came sharply alter to the tag line “In a turbulent world focused on economics and science, do poems, prose and plays matter?”  Inquisitive to find out more and envisioning a more egalitarian world where literature & art are valued as much as commerce or science Buzzingtales is certainly going to read the book on this pertinent subject. We will wait to read the review copy and savor the taste of this book. Meanwhile enjoy a sneak peek.

With the rapid growth of scientific and vocational courses, and with students wanting tangible rewards from their degrees, Bennett and Royle show us why Literature still holds a crucial place in society.

What is Literature? Why should we study it? Often, students taking courses in Literature don’t get the highest paid jobs. Can studying Literature truly teach us anything about the world?

Addressing this perceived decline in interest in the Humanities, This Thing Called Literature (Routledge, 2015) from acclaimed authorial duo Andrew Bennett and Nicholas Royle demonstrates why the study of Literature is still important in our changing society. Relating Literature to topics such as politics, life, death, and what it is to be a citizen of the 21st Century, this beautifully written book establishes a sense of why and how literature is an exciting and rewarding subject to study.

‘Unlike more or less every other thing you have to do in life that is connected with studying or working for a living, the study of literature doesn’t tie you down to anything. It frees you up. It opens up remarkable possibilities.’

This Thing Called Literature leads the reader through a discussion of the fundamental concepts of literary study. It suggests that the very concept of literature is bound up with the democratic principle of ‘freedom of expression’, a principle threatened by the current shift towards more ‘rewarding’ Bachelor degrees.

‘A very shrewd, lively, and at times irreverent introduction to literary study, which explains that thinking about literature is thinking about everything else, including thinking.’ - Jonathan Culler, Class of 1916 Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Cornell University, USA.

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