An Organon of Life Knowledge

Genres and Functions of the Short Story in North America

Can fiction teach us how to live? This study offers a fresh take on the North American short story, exploring how the genre has engaged in the construction and circulation of 'life knowledge'. Echoing the resurgence of short story scholarship in recent years, it thus contributes a genre-focused perspective to the growing field of 'literature and knowledge' studies. Drawing on stories from the late 19th century to the present by authors such as Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Eudora Welty, Junot Díaz, and Alice Munro, Michael Basseler examines how knowledge about life and how to live it is generically constituted and, vice versa, how literary genres such as the short story are embedded in broader cultural frameworks of knowledge production.

Overview Chapters

  1. Frontmatter

    Seiten 1 - 6
  2. Contents

    Seiten 7 - 8
  3. Preface and Acknowledgements

    Seiten 9 - 12
  4. Introduction

    Seiten 13 - 38
  5. Part One: Life, Literature, and Knowledge: Theoretical Premises

    1. Literature, Life Knowledge, and 'Science for Living'

    Seiten 41 - 50
  6. 2. The Knowledge of Literature: Positions, Debates, and Approaches

    Seiten 51 - 80
  7. Part Two: The Genericity of Literary Life Knowledge in the Short Story

    4. The Short Story as an Organon of Life Knowledge: An Epistemological Approach to the Genre

    Seiten 83 - 92
  8. 5. Life Knowledge as Projection: The Cognitive Work of Short Stories

    Seiten 93 - 100
  9. 6. Life-Changing Experiences and Turning Points: The Crisis-Ridden Life Knowledge of the Short Story

    Seiten 101 - 110
  10. 7. The American Short Story and the Temporalization of Life in Modernity: Washington Irving's "Rip Van Winkle" and F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"

    Seiten 111 - 134
  11. Part III: Stages of Life - Staging Life in the Short Story

    8. Epistemological Uncertainty and Knowledge of Maturation in Stories of Initiation: Sherwood Anderson's "I Want to Know Why", Eudora Welty's "A Visit of Charity" and "A Memory", and Junot Díaz's "Ysrael"

    Seiten 141 - 162
  12. 9. Midlife Crisis as Turning Point for the 'Mature Moderns': John Cheever's "The Country Husband"

    Seiten 163 - 176
  13. 10. Stories of 'Unlived' and Secret Lives: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Sherwood Anderson, Henry James, and James Thurber

    Seiten 177 - 194
  14. 11. Gerontophobia, Ageism, and the Wisdom of Later Life in Stories of Aging: Willa Cather's "Old Mrs. Harris" and Eudora Welty's "Old Mr. Marblehall"

    Seiten 195 - 216
  15. 12. Understanding Life Retrospectively in Stories of Remembered Life: Willa Cather, William Saroyan, Russell Banks, Anthony Doerr

    Seiten 217 - 230
  16. Coda: The Short Story as Epistemological Fiction Alice Munro's "What Do You Want to Know For?"

    Seiten 231 - 248
  17. Works Cited

    Seiten 249 - 274
€34.99 * $40.00 *

6 February 2019, 276 pages
ISBN: 978-3-8376-4642-9

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Michael Basseler

Michael Basseler, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Deutschland

Michael Basseler
Book title
An Organon of Life Knowledge Genres and Functions of the Short Story in North America
transcript Verlag
kart., Klebebindung
Commodity Group
LIT004020 LIT006000
Release date
6 February 2019
Literatur, Amerika, Leben
Literary Studies, American Studies, Cultural Studies, Short Story Readers and Practitioners
Short Story, Literature and Knowledge, Genre Theory, Narrative, America, Life, Literature, American Studies, Theory of Literature, General Literature Studies, Literary Studies

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