The Aesthetics of Care: On the Literary Treatment of Animals

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9781501317200: The Aesthetics of Care: On the Literary Treatment of Animals

In this important new book from a distinguished scholar, Josephine Donovan develops a new aesthetics of care, which she establishes as the basis for a critical approach to the representation of animals in literature.

The Aesthetics of Care begins with a guide to the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, leading to a reconceptualization of key literary critical terms such as mimesis and catharsis, before moving on to an applied section, with interpretations of the specific treatment of animals handled by a wide range of authors, including Willa Cather, Leo Tolstoy, George Sand, and J.M. Coetzee. The book closes with three concluding theoretical chapters.

Clear, original, and provocative, The Aesthetics of Care introduces and makes new contributions to a number of burgeoning areas of study and debate: aesthetics and ethics, critical theory, animal ethics, and ecofeminist criticism.

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About the Author:

Josephine Donovan is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Maine, USA. She is the author or editor of 13 books, including Women and the Rise of the Novel, 1405-1726 (2d. rev. ed., 2013), which was named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title, After the Fall (1989), and The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics (2007, co-edited with Carol J. Adams). Her groundbreaking Feminist Theory (first published, 1985; fourth edition, 2012), which was also named a Choice Outstanding Academic Title and described as “the classic survey and analysis of the roots and development of feminist theory,” has been translated into Chinese, Turkish, and Japanese.

Review:

Donovan enlivens literary criticism with a fresh understanding of its aesthetic dimension, one that brings the reader into caring communion with other animals. Her wonderfully interdisciplinary book successfully combines perspectives from critical theory, literature, and philosophy. * Ralph R. Acampora, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Hofstra University, USA * What a pleasure to reread such literary super-stars as Tchekov, Tolstoy, Willa Cather, George Sand, Sarah Orne Jewett, Virginia Woolf, and even Sophocles-now as care ethicists! One of the more remarkable things about this book is how Donovan's exquisitely sensitive reading of this literature models the moral attention she asks us to learn. Her aesthetics, which is thoroughly grounded in an ontology, a standpoint epistemology, and a moral orientation of care, of caring about other animals, more specifically, should resonate with those in critical animal studies, literary theorists in English departments, care ethicists, feminists who want theory that's truly inclusive, with all of us who are sickened by the aestheticizing and normalizing of violence against other animals. For Donovan, Keats' negative capability is both an aesthetic and a moral imperative-every animal, from Tolstoy's beetle to Sand's ox, as empathically loved as Keats' nightingale. * Deborah Slicer, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Graduate Studies in Environmental Philosophy, University of Montana, USA, and author of The White Calf Kicks * Drawing on years of work in literary criticism, eco-criticism, and feminist care ethics, Josephine Donovan provides an amazing and eloquent articulation of an 'Aesthetics of Care.' Bursting with invaluable readings of literary works and philosophy, Donovan offers a prism and a principle, equipping us to bring ethical concern for the natural world and the other animals to literature. * Carol J. Adams, author of The Sexual Politics of Meat. * This volume makes a substantial contribution to several disciplines-literary studies, feminist studies, environmental studies, and philosophy as well as animal studies. Donovan (emer., English, Univ. of Maine) has written or edited some dozen previous works, including the acclaimed Feminist Theory: The Intellectual Traditions (CH, Apr'86). Building on foundation laid in The Feminist Care Tradition in Animal Ethics: A Reader, which she coedited with Carol Adams (2007), Donovan takes issue with the ways in which the philosophies of Descartes and Kant have influenced aesthetic theory since the Enlightenment and offers instead a distinctly feminine aesthetics of care focused on nonhuman animals but with far-reaching implications for human interactions with the environment as well. Donovan engages with a range of complex philosophical issues and writes about them with spirit, precision, and astonishing clarity, making her work accessible to a wide interdisciplinary audience. Literary scholars will find that her analysis is enhanced by examples from an array of authors whose works exemplify an "aesthetics of care" tradition, including Sophocles, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Cather, and Woolf. This extraordinary book, written by a mature master teacher, is a remarkable achievement. Summing Up: Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty. * CHOICE *

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this important new book from a distinguished scholar, Josephine Donovan develops a new aesthetics of care, which she establishes as the basis for a critical approach to the representation of animals in literature. The Aesthetics of Care begins with a guide to the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, leading to a reconceptualization of key literary critical terms such as mimesis and catharsis, before moving on to an applied section, with interpretations of the specific treatment of animals handled by a wide range of authors, including Willa Cather, Leo Tolstoy, George Sand, and J.M. Coetzee. The book closes with three concluding theoretical chapters. Clear, original, and provocative, The Aesthetics of Care introduces and makes new contributions to a number of burgeoning areas of study and debate: aesthetics and ethics, critical theory, animal ethics, and ecofeminist criticism. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9781501317200

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In this important new book from a distinguished scholar, Josephine Donovan develops a new aesthetics of care, which she establishes as the basis for a critical approach to the representation of animals in literature. The Aesthetics of Care begins with a guide to the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, leading to a reconceptualization of key literary critical terms such as mimesis and catharsis, before moving on to an applied section, with interpretations of the specific treatment of animals handled by a wide range of authors, including Willa Cather, Leo Tolstoy, George Sand, and J.M. Coetzee. The book closes with three concluding theoretical chapters. Clear, original, and provocative, The Aesthetics of Care introduces and makes new contributions to a number of burgeoning areas of study and debate: aesthetics and ethics, critical theory, animal ethics, and ecofeminist criticism. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9781501317200

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