Möbian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness (Violence, Desire, and the Sacred)

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9781501326936: Möbian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness (Violence, Desire, and the Sacred)
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“I died at Auschwitz,” French writer Charlotte Delbo asserts, “and nobody knows it.” Möbian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness develops a new understanding of literary reading: that in the wake of disasters like the Holocaust, death remains a premise of our experience rather than a future.

Challenging customary “aesthetic” assumptions that we write in order not to die, Sandor Goodhart suggests (with Kafka) we write to die. Drawing upon analyses developed by Girard, Foucault, Blanchot, and Levinas (along with examples from Homer to Beckett), Möbian Nights proposes that all literature works “autobiographically”, which is to say, in the wake of disaster; with the credo “I died; therefore, I am”; and for which the language of topology (for example, the “Möbius strip”) offers a vocabulary for naming the “deep structure” of such literary, critical, and scriptural sacrificial and anti-sacrificial dynamics.

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About the Author:

Sandor Goodhart is Professor of English and Jewish Studies at Purdue University, USA. He is the author of editor of five books, including The Prophetic Law. Essays in Judaism, Girardianism, Literary Studies, and the Ethical (2014), Sacrifice, Scripture, and Substitution: Readings in Ancient Judaism and Christianity (co-edited with Ann Astell, 2011) and For René Girard. Essays in Friendship and Truth (co-edited with Jørgen Jørgenson, Tom Ryba, and James G. Williams, 2009).

Review:

In this beautifully written and strikingly original contribution to post-Holocaust literature, Sandor Goodhart locates in the Mobian structure first described by 19th-century mathematician August Ferdinand Mobius a model for difference or otherness that, in fact, attests to continuity and sameness. Tracing in Mobian fashion an autobiographical line extending from Homer to Beckett, Goodhart shows that we never stand outside the drama the literary presents to us. Suggesting that Mobian logic is endemic to all literary critical discourse, Goodhart, at once an astute philosopher and consummate Jewish storyteller, attests to the 'doubling back of language on itself' in a dark night that makes all writing 'the story of my death.' * Martha J. Reineke, Professor of Religion, University of Northern Iowa, USA * Mobian Nights presents a sensitive and novel reading of the Mobian as a theoretical and structural frame of interpreting literature. Here the Mobian, not unlike chiastic structures of language and thought, speaks to the interconnected relationship between past and present, difference and continuity, self and other, silence and bearing witness. Through a variety of challenging perspectives, this deeply engaging book gets at the heart of what it means to tell a story. Set against a post-Holocaust landscape and the legacy of night, Goodhart reflects upon a cautionary and discerning way of approaching the world in which we live. * Victoria Aarons, O.R. & Eva Mitchell Distinguished Professor of English, Trinity University, USA * In this extraordinarily rich and thought-provoking follow-up to his earlier Sacrificing Commentary, Sandor Goodhart offers us a new, 'Mobian' basis for a general theory of the literary, which encompasses an impressively wide range of texts and authors, from Homeric epic to Derridean deconstruction. The intellectual tour de force does not for a moment, however, lose sight of the real historical crisis of our time; for over it all hovers the shadow of Auschwitz. Mobian Nights will prove necessary reading for anyone seriously interested in literature and literary criticism, and their relation to each other, as well as to philosophy, Biblical religion, and ethics. * Bruce K. Ward, Professor of Religious Studies Emeritus, Thorneloe University at Laurentian, Canada *

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2017. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. I died at Auschwitz, French writer Charlotte Delbo asserts, and nobody knows it. Mobian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness develops a new understanding of literary reading: that in the wake of disasters like the Holocaust, death remains a premise of our experience rather than a future. Challenging customary aesthetic assumptions that we write in order not to die, Sandor Goodhart suggests (with Kafka) we write to die. Drawing upon analyses developed by Girard, Foucault, Blanchot, and Levinas (along with examples from Homer to Beckett), Mobian Nights proposes that all literature works autobiographically , which is to say, in the wake of disaster; with the credo I died; therefore, I am ; and for which the language of topology (for example, the Mobius strip ) offers a vocabulary for naming the deep structure of such literary, critical, and scriptural sacrificial and anti-sacrificial dynamics. Seller Inventory # AAS9781501326936

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Book Description Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, United States, 2017. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. I died at Auschwitz, French writer Charlotte Delbo asserts, and nobody knows it. Mobian Nights: Reading Literature and Darkness develops a new understanding of literary reading: that in the wake of disasters like the Holocaust, death remains a premise of our experience rather than a future. Challenging customary aesthetic assumptions that we write in order not to die, Sandor Goodhart suggests (with Kafka) we write to die. Drawing upon analyses developed by Girard, Foucault, Blanchot, and Levinas (along with examples from Homer to Beckett), Mobian Nights proposes that all literature works autobiographically , which is to say, in the wake of disaster; with the credo I died; therefore, I am ; and for which the language of topology (for example, the Mobius strip ) offers a vocabulary for naming the deep structure of such literary, critical, and scriptural sacrificial and anti-sacrificial dynamics. Seller Inventory # AAS9781501326936

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