The Event: Literature and Theory
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What is an event? From a philosophical perspective, events are irregular occurrencesâmoments of change and interruptionâcategorized by human perception, language, and thought. While philosophers have pored over the subject of events extensively in recent years, The Event: Literature and Theory seeks to ground it: What is literatureâs approach to the event? How does literature produce and give testimony to events?
Ilai Rownerâs study not only revisits some of the most important thinkers of our time, including Maurice Blanchot, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, and Martin Heidegger, it also develops a critical approach to literature that questions the meaning of the literary event through examinations of literary works by Marcel Proust, Louis-Ferdinand CÃ©line, and T. S. Eliot.
Rowner offers a new method of thinking about the particular characteristics of the event within literary works and defines the creative value of literature as the aspiration toward the un-happening within the happening. In this study the experience of literatureâas an act of both writing and readingâbecomes the struggle to capture the excessive movement of the event while also revealing the creative energy within that work of literature.