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The Thanksgiving Symposium: A Modern Platonic Dialogue on Love.

Fleming, Bruce.

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ISBN 10: 076183978X / ISBN 13: 9780761839781
Published by University Press of America,, 2008
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Thanksgiving Symposium: A Modern ...

Publisher: University Press of America,

Publication Date: 2008

Binding: Paperback

About this title


What if Plato's Symposium took place in present-day America rather than in ancient Athens? The Thanksgiving Symposium imagines this, and makes it happen. Like Plato's dialogue, The Thanksgiving Symposium focuses on the age-old question: what is the nature of love? In The Thanksgiving Symposium, three men and three women of varying ages and degrees of closeness meet for Thanksgiving dinner. Their particular situations give rise to a discussion of love in the general and the specific, leavened with the normal give and take of social interaction. During the evening, much is discussed and some things are decided. Plato's dialogue verges on being a play about philosophy rather than a philosophy, people discussing things rather than a philosopher telling us what to conclude. The Thanksgiving Symposium develops this aspect of Plato while offering a new philosophy that responds to the old. Is the result a play? A dialogue? A philosophy? Like Plato's Symposium, it is all of these at once.

About the Author:

Bruce Fleming won an O. Henry Award for his first published story, "The Autobiography of Gertrude Stein" (1991) and in 2005, the Antioch Review Award for Distinguished Prose, a career award. His experimental novel Twilley (1997) was compared by critics to works by Henry James, T.S. Eliot, Proust, Thoreau, and David Lynch. He has published a book of dance essays, Sex, Art and Audience (2000); a memoir, Journey to the Middle of the Forest (2008); many scholarly and theoretical books; and articles and essays in literary quarterlies and publications such as the Village Voice, The Washington Post, and The Nation. His philosophical works include Art and Argument: What Words Can't Do and What They Can (2003), Sexual Ethics (2004), and Science and the Self (2004) and Disappointment, or The Light of Common Day (2006). These culminated in The New Tractatus: Summing Up Everything (2007). Other recent books include Annapolis Autumn: Life, Death and Literature at the U.S. Naval Academy (2005) and Why Liberals and Conservatives Clash (2006). His academic degrees, from Haverford College, The University of Chicago, and Vanderbilt University, are in philosophy and comparative literature. He is an English professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, where he has taught literature for more than twenty years.

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