Literature for a Society of Equals (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature) (Hardcover)

Literature for a Society of Equals (Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature) By Daniel S. Malachuk Cover Image
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Literature for a Society of Equals defends modern equality and seeks its best literature. It accuses equality's supposed friends on the left of attenuating this world-redefining relationship into a collection of rights and goods to distribute, secularizing it even as the right keeps sacralizing hierarchies, and optimistically handing it over to time to make it happen. In contrast, loyal to equality as modernity's revolutionary invention, the writers examined here-from Mary Shelley to Gwendolyn Brooks to Ta-Nehisi Coates-envision "relational equality" as lately recovered by philosophers like Elizabeth Anderson and historians like Pierre Rosanvallon. Literary scholars need to reread these "pessimist egalitarians," too, though, for the discipline has failed them in the same three ways: i.e., attenuating and secularizing these writers' portraits of equality but most of all insisting the sympathy generated by reading these texts will, with enough time, "expand the circle" of humanity. For students and teachers of literature at the university level, this volume is a guide to those writings that champion equality as relational, sacred, and ours-not time's-to realize.

About the Author

Daniel S. Malachuk (PhD, Literatures in English, Rutgers) researches literature and political theory. Former Fellow at U. Notre Dame's Institute for Advanced Study (2013) and Fulbright Senior Lecturer at U. Heidelberg (2014), he is a Professor of English at Western Illinois University.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781032494234
ISBN-10: 1032494239
Publisher: Routledge
Publication Date: September 29th, 2023
Pages: 230
Language: English
Series: Routledge Studies in Twentieth-Century Literature