The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction

4.11 avg rating
( 91 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780520062030: The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

In The Company We Keep, Wayne C. Booth argues for the relocation of ethics to the center of our engagement with literature.
But the questions he asks are not confined to morality. Returning ethics to its root sense, Booth proposes that the ethical critic will be interested in any effect on the ethos, the total character or quality of tellers and listeners. Ethical criticism will risk talking about the quality of this particular encounter with this particular work. Yet it will give up the old hope for definitive judgments of "good" work and "bad." Rather it will be a conversation about many kinds of personal and social goods that fictions can serve or destroy. While not ignoring the consequences for conduct of engaging with powerful stories, it will attend to that more immediate topic, What happens to us as we read? Who am I, during the hours of reading or listening? What is the quality of the life I lead in the company of these would-be friends?
Through a wide variety of periods and genres and scores of particular works, Booth pursues various metaphors for such engagements: "friendship with books," "the exchange of gifts," "the colonizing of worlds," "the constitution of commonwealths." He concludes with extended explorations of the ethical powers and potential dangers of works by Rabelais, D. H. Lawrence, Jane Austen, and Mark Twain.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Wayne C. Booth (1921-2005) was George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor of English at the University of Chicago.

From Library Journal:

Building on the Aristotelianism of his The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) and the critical pluralism of his Critical Understanding ( LJ 6/1/79), Booth argues that fictional characters provide alternatives for the social roles we play. In some stories we find virtuous examples of behavior, in others reprehensible ones. Readers discover the difference through "coduction," that is, evaluative conversation. Booth's project has limitations, such as his reliance on a form of social psychology that he inadequately defines. Still, he frankly discusses Rabelais's sexism and Twain's racism, and he eschews mystifying and seducing jargon. Mark Hurlbert, Indiana Univ. of Pennsylvania, Ind.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780520062108: The Company We Keep: An Ethics of Fiction

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0520062108 ISBN 13:  9780520062108
Publisher: University of California Press, 1989
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Booth, Wayne C.
Published by University of California Press (1992)
ISBN 10: 0520062035 ISBN 13: 9780520062030
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of California Press, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110520062035

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 63.02
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Wayne C. Booth
Published by University of California Press (1992)
ISBN 10: 0520062035 ISBN 13: 9780520062030
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description University of California Press, 1992. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0520062035

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 333.23
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds