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    The Belated Time of Reading, or Inconsolable Ethics

    Todd, Sharon (2008) The Belated Time of Reading, or Inconsolable Ethics. Philosophy of Education Yearbook. pp. 51-53. ISSN 8756-6575

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    As both an ardent reader all my life and a long-time student of Emmanuel Levinas’s work, I found a deep resonance with Ann Chinnery’s approach to reformulating the relation between moral education and literature. Drawn by the eloquent and quiet tone of the essay, I was especially thankful for her skill at tugging literature away from the sentimental grip of certain thinkers who seem to believe that what we have to learn from fiction can be reduced to rather trite formulations of identification, empathy, and compassion. It is not that such powerful emotions do not take place when we read, but to educate on the basis that they ought to happen because they lead us to a better engagement with the world suggests that we seem to know beforehand what kind of response is appropriate to any given text. The risk is not only that we lose a sense of the texture and diversity of possible responses, but that we turn literature into a mere purveyor of universal claims about the world, into a treatise rather than a work of art. As Thomas Hardy once wrote, “a novel is an impression not an argument.”

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Belated Time; Reading; Inconsolable Ethics;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > Education
    Item ID: 8551
    Depositing User: Prof. Sharon Todd
    Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 08:35
    Journal or Publication Title: Philosophy of Education Yearbook
    Publisher: Philosophy of Education Society
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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