My understanding of an “ethics of reading” stands more with John Keats’ “chameleon poet” than with his “virtuous philosopher.” Starting from my reaction to the U.S. “torture memos” (post 9/11), I explore what an ethics of reading might mean, and what is peculiar to the literature classroom. I then pursue the idea by way of the concept of a literary “character”: how we have learned to reach fictional persons, why we want and need them, and what kind of an ethical investment they propose to readers. Among a number of examples, that of Proust will be crucial here.
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholar, Comparative Literature and University Center for Human Values
Wed, Apr 4, 2018
04:00 PM - 06:00 PM
Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility
1 Devonshire Place