The Wreath of Wild Olive: Play, Liminality, and the Study of Literature (Suny Series, the Margins of Literature)

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9780791433669: The Wreath of Wild Olive: Play, Liminality, and the Study of Literature (Suny Series, the Margins of Literature)

Examines the concept of play in Western thought, with special emphasis on the relationship between aesthetics and ethics, and envisions literary discourse as contributing to an alternative mentality based on peace rather than power.

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'Spariosu's book is one of the most compelling accounts of the nature of play that I have ever encountered. Its breadth and depth of knowledge are remarkable, its understanding of the importance of play acute. I know of no other book that probes the notion of play from as many different angles and that manages to provoke as many different questions on the topic as this one.'--James S. Hans, Wake Forest University

Review:

It is one of the outstanding achievements of the book to explore the concept of liminality a term introduced by Victor Turner into the critical discussion as a threshold and passageway from one historical world to another. Liminality, as Spariosu unfolds it, may well be the key term of the coming decade, replacing the current prominence of otherness . Wolfgang Iser, University of California, Irvine
The Wreath of Wild Olive is a work demonstrating enormous erudition and uncanny critical discrimination and jouissance. It is as remarkable for the pleasure it delivers as for the light it sheds on a broad range of key texts. Henry Sussman, State University of New York, Buffalo
Spariosu s book is one of the most compelling accounts of the nature of play that I have ever encountered. Its breadth and depth of knowledge are remarkable, its understanding of the importance of play acute. I know of no other book that probes the notion of play from as many different angles and that manages to provoke as many different questions on the topic as this one. James S. Hans, Wake Forest University
Mihai Spariosu is a prodigiously learned comparativist, a bold thinker of broad, humane sympathies, and a writer of great skill and refinement. His new book The Wreath of Wild Olive undertakes to rethink literature as a field not as the prevailing cant has it of power relations and combative differences but (mirabile dictu!) of peace and play: to the dogma of theory as eristics, Spariosu has had the courage to propose an irenics of literature. The Wreath of Wild Olive has salvational force. Stanley Corngold, Princeton University"

"It is one of the outstanding achievements of the book to explore the concept of liminality--a term introduced by Victor Turner into the critical discussion--as a threshold and passageway from one historical world to another. Liminality, as Spariosu unfolds it, may well be the key term of the coming decade, replacing the current prominence of 'otherness'." -- Wolfgang Iser, University of California, Irvine

"The Wreath of Wild Olive is a work demonstrating enormous erudition and uncanny critical discrimination and jouissance. It is as remarkable for the pleasure it delivers as for the light it sheds on a broad range of key texts." -- Henry Sussman, State University of New York, Buffalo

"Spariosu's book is one of the most compelling accounts of the nature of play that I have ever encountered. Its breadth and depth of knowledge are remarkable, its understanding of the importance of play acute. I know of no other book that probes the notion of play from as many different angles and that manages to provoke as many different questions on the topic as this one." -- James S. Hans, Wake Forest University

"Mihai Spariosu is a prodigiously learned comparativist, a bold thinker of broad, humane sympathies, and a writer of great skill and refinement. His new book The Wreath of Wild Olive undertakes to rethink literature as a field not--as the prevailing cant has it--of power relations and combative differences but (mirabile dictu!) of peace and play: to the dogma of theory as eristics, Spariosu has had the courage to propose an irenics of literature. The Wreath of Wild Olive has salvational force." -- Stanley Corngold, Princeton University

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