The Moral Imagination: Essays on Literature and Ethics

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9780877451518: The Moral Imagination: Essays on Literature and Ethics

Book by Clausen, Christopher

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With the purpose of "bringing an undogmatic moral criticism back to life," Clausen analyzes a diverse group of authors, including Conan Doyle, Tolkien, Frost, and Czeslaw Milosz. His textual readings are accurate if conventional, his theoretical ground is worth defending, and he does show that an ethical dynamic exists between text and reader. However, this book's theoretical chapter is weak, avoiding the hard issues implied by a truly moral perspective. Meanwhile, the individual essays tend to substitute traditional thematic explication for rigorous pursuit of a central thesis. In the end Clausen proves neither that moral criticism has been dead, nor that, had it been, it would have needed resurrection. Not essential. Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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