By Brian Stock
Augustine of Hippo was once the main prolific and influential author on examining among antiquity and the Renaissance, even though he left no systematic treatise at the topic. His reluctance to synthesize his perspectives on different very important subject matters equivalent to the sacraments means that he may were skeptical of any try to convey his statements on interpreting right into a formal conception. but Augustine has remained the purpose of connection with which all later writers at all times go back of their look for the roots of difficulties touching on interpreting and interpretation within the West.
Using Augustine because the touchstone, Brian inventory considers the evolution of the meditative reader inside Western analyzing practices from classical occasions to the Renaissance. He seems to be to the matter of self-knowledge within the studying tradition of overdue antiquity; engages the similar query of moral values and literary event within the related interval; and reconsiders Erich Auerbach's interpretation of historical literary realism.
In next chapters, inventory strikes ahead to the center a while to discover the angle of medieval Latin authors towards the style of autobiography as a version for self-representation and takes up the matter of interpreting, writing, and the self in Petrarch. He compares the function of the reader in Augustine's City of God and Thomas More's Utopia, and, in a last very important movement, reframes the matter of ecu cultural identification by way of moving realization from the continuity and alter in spoken language to major shifts within the perform of non secular, silent analyzing within the heart a while and Renaissance. A richly lucrative mirrored image at the historical past and nature of examining, After Augustine grants to be a centerpiece of discussions in regards to the discovery of the self via literature.
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Additional info for After Augustine: The Meditative Reader and the Text
Augustine believed that all stories work in much the same way, whether they are tales we think, tell, or live. Stories achieve their ends because they work on our emotions, whose influence on behavior depends on our interpretation of the narratives to which we are exposed. Augustine did not accept the ancient view of emotion and reason as opposed forces within the soul. He was not convinced that emotions are always irrational; in his view they could contribute to ethically informed, rational action, even if human reason is never entirely free from the sensory influences that impinge on our feelings.
There was nothing unusual about situating ethical problems in a literary landscape. The idea was as old as Greek tragedy, the book ofJob, or the Christian parables. The connection was a normal feature of Hellenistic education in grammar and rhetoric. For Cicero, who summed up ancient thinking near the end of the Roman republic, the best sort of person was considered to be an ethically informed orator, that is, someone who applied the lessons of rhetoric through participation in political life. 8), where he spoke in traditional terms of literary and moral education through the study of poetry.
With the widespread practice of silent reading, the sound of the reading was reduced to an inward murmur or disappeared altogether from aural perception, so that only one type of silence remained - the silence of reading itself. The history of silence thus began a new chapter, in which the subject had the impression that reading and thinking were a single, continuous process. For the reflective reader, the text and the self became interdependent, as they appear to be in Montaigne. lo If these words have a nostalgic ring, it is not because we still look on the Middle Ages through the eyes of the Romantics, but because we are aware that the century of Proust was the period in which literary studies finalized its detachment from traditional Western methods of relating literature to the problem of self-knowledge.
After Augustine: The Meditative Reader and the Text by Brian Stock