The edge of irony, says Linda Hutcheon, is always a social and political edge. Irony depends upon interpretation; it happens in the tricky, unpredictable space between expression and understanding. Irony's Edge is a fascinating, compulsively readable study of the myriad forms and the effects of irony. It sets out, for the first time, a sustained, clear analysis of the theory and the political contexts of irony, using a wide range of references from contemporary culture. Examples extend from Madonna to Wagner, from a clever quip in conversation to a contentious exhibition in a museum. Irony's Edge outlines and then challenges all the major existing theories of irony, providing the most comprehensive and critically challengin theory of irony to date.
Author: Linda Hutcheon
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 1985
In this major study of a flexible and multifaceted mode of expression, Linda Hutcheon looks at works of modern literature, visual art, music, film, theater, and architecture to arrive at a comprehensive assessment of what parody is and what it does.Hutcheon identifies parody as one of the major forms of modern self-reflexivity, one that marks the intersection of invention and critique and offers an important mode of coming to terms with the texts and discourses of the past. Looking at works as diverse as Tom Stoppard's Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Brian de Palma's Dressed to Kill, Woody Allen's Zelig, Karlheinz Stockhausen's Hymnen, James Joyce's Ulysses, and Magritte's This Is Not a Pipe, Hutcheon discusses the remarkable range of intent in modern parody while distinguishing it from pastiche, burlesque, travesty, and satire. She shows how parody, through ironic playing with multiple conventions, combines creative expression with critical commentary. Its productive-creative approach to tradition results in a modern recoding that establishes difference at the heart of similarity.In a new introduction, Hutcheon discusses why parody continues to fascinate her and why it is commonly viewed as suspect--for being either too ideologically shifty or too much of a threat to the ownership of intellectual and creative property.
This classic text remains one of the clearest and most incisive introductions to postmodernism. Perhaps more importantly, it is a compelling discussion of why postmodernism matters. Working through the issue of representation in art forms from fiction to photography, Linda Hutcheon sets out postmodernism's highly political challenge to the dominant ideologies of the western world. A new epilogue traces the fate of the postmodern over the last ten years and into the future, responding to claims that it has, once and for all, 'failed'. Together with the new epilogue, this edition contains revised notes on further reading and a fully updated bibliography. This revised edition of The Politics of Postmodernism continues its position as essential reading.
What is it about irony--as an object of serious philosophical reflection and a literary technique of considerable elasticity--that makes it an occasion for endless critical debate? This book responds to this question by focusing on several key moments in German Romanticism and its afterlife in twentieth-century French thought and writing. It includes chapters on Friedrich Schlegel, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Thomas Mann, Jean Paulhan, Maurice Blanchot, Jacques Derrida, and Paul de Man. A coda traces the way unresolved tensions inherited from Romanticism resurface in a novelist like J. M. Coetzee. But this book is neither a historical nor a thematic study of irony. To the degree that irony initiates a deflection of meaning, it also entails a divergence from historical and thematic models of understanding. The book therefore aims to respect irony's digressive force by allowing it to emerge from questions that sometimes have little or nothing to do with the ostensible topic of irony. For if irony is the possibility that whatever is being said does not coincide fully with whatever is being meant, then there is no guarantee that the most legitimate approach to the problem would proceed directly to those places where "irony" is named, described, or presumed to reside. Rather than providing a history of irony, then, this book examines particular occasions of ironic disruption. It thus offers an alternative model for conceiving of historical occurrences and their potential for acquiring meaning.
Author: Linda Hutcheon
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
Release Date: 2015-08-01
Bodily Charm is a passionate defense of opera as a living as well as live art. Written for both the opera lover and the specialist by a physician and a literary critic, it is an accessible and engaging interdisciplinary exploration of the operatic body—both the actual physical bodies of the singers and audience members and the represented body on stage in operas such as Death in Venice, Salome, Rigoletto, Der Ring des Nibelungen, and Elektra.
A Theory of Adaptation explores the continuous development of creative adaptation, and argues that the practice of adapting is central to the story-telling imagination. Linda Hutcheon develops a theory of adaptation through a range of media, from film and opera, to video games, pop music and theme parks, analysing the breadth, scope and creative possibilities within each. This new edition is supplemented by a new preface from the author, discussing both new adaptive forms/platforms and recent critical developments in the study of adaptation. It also features an illuminating new epilogue from Siobhan O’Flynn, focusing on adaptation in the context of digital media. She considers the impact of transmedia practices and properties on the form and practice of adaptation, as well as studying the extension of game narrative across media platforms, fan-based adaptation (from Twitter and Facebook to home movies), and the adaptation of books to digital formats. A Theory of Adaptation is the ideal guide to this ever evolving field of study and is essential reading for anyone interested in adaptation in the context of literary and media studies.
Through a series of case studies spanning the bounds of literature, photography, essay, and manifesto, this book examines the ways in which literary texts do theoretical, ethical, and political work. Nicole Simek approaches the relationship between literature, theory, and public life through a specific site, the French Antillean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, and focuses on two mutually elucidating terms: hunger and irony. Reading these concepts together helps elucidate irony’s creative potential and limits. If hunger gives irony purchase by anchoring it in particular historical and material conditions, irony also gives a literature and politics of hunger a means for moving beyond a given situation, for pushing through the inertias of history and culture.
This second edition of John Frow’s Genre offers a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the area. Genre is a key means by which we categorize the many forms of literature and culture, but it is also much more than that: in talk and writing, in music and images, in film and television, genres actively generate and shape our knowledge of the world. Understanding genre as a dynamic process rather than a set of stable rules, this book explores: the relation of simple to complex genres the history of literary genre in theory the generic organisation of implied meanings the structuring of interpretation by genre the uses of genre in teaching. John Frow’s lucid exploration of this fascinating concept has become essential reading for students of literary and cultural studies, and the second edition expands on the original to take account of recent debates in genre theory and the emergence of digital genres.
Author: Carol Tator
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Release Date: 1998
Contending that cultural producion gives voice to racism, the authors--anthropologists Carol Tator and Frances Henry and attorney Winston Mattis--here examine how six controversial Canadian cultural events have given rise to a newly empowered radical or critical multiculturalism.
Author: Reinhold Niebuhr
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2010-01-22
“[Niebuhr] is one of my favorite philosophers. I take away [from his works] the compelling idea that there’s serious evil in the world, and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn’t use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away . . . the sense we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard.”—President Barack Obama Forged during the tumultuous but triumphant postwar years when America came of age as a world power, The Irony of American History is more relevant now than ever before. Cited by politicians as diverse as Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Niebuhr’s masterpiece on the incongruity between personal ideals and political reality is both an indictment of American moral complacency and a warning against the arrogance of virtue. Impassioned, eloquent, and deeply perceptive, Niebuhr’s wisdom will cause readers to rethink their assumptions about right and wrong, war and peace. “The supreme American theologian of the twentieth century.”—Arthur Schlesinger Jr., New York Times “Niebuhr is important for the left today precisely because he warned about America’s tendency—including the left’s tendency—to do bad things in the name of idealism. His thought offers a much better understanding of where the Bush administration went wrong in Iraq.”—Kevin Mattson, The Good Society “Irony provides the master key to understanding the myths and delusions that underpin American statecraft. . . . The most important book ever written on US foreign policy.”—Andrew J. Bacevich, from the Introduction
Author: Richard Rorty
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Release Date: 1989-02-24
In this 1989 book Rorty argues that thinkers such as Nietzsche, Freud, and Wittgenstein have enabled societies to see themselves as historical contingencies, rather than as expressions of underlying, ahistorical human nature or as realizations of suprahistorical goals. This ironic perspective on the human condition is valuable on a private level, although it cannot advance the social or political goals of liberalism. In fact Rorty believes that it is literature not philosophy that can do this, by promoting a genuine sense of human solidarity. A truly liberal culture, acutely aware of its own historical contingency, would fuse the private, individual freedom of the ironic, philosophical perspective with the public project of human solidarity as it is engendered through the insights and sensibilities of great writers. The book has a characteristically wide range of reference from philosophy through social theory to literary criticism. It confirms Rorty's status as a uniquely subtle theorist, whose writing will prove absorbing to academic and nonacademic readers alike.
Author: Jon Winokur
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: 2013-12-10
Jon Winokur defines and classifies irony and contrasts it with coincidence and cynicism, and other oft-confused concepts that many think are ironic. He looks at the different forms irony can take, from an irony deficiency to visual irony to an understatement, using photographs and relate-able examples from pop culture. * "Irony in Action" looks at irony in language, both verbal and visual, while "Bastions of Irony" and "Masters of Irony" look at institutions and individuals steeped in irony, though not always intentionally. PLUS: * The Annals of Irony looks at irony, and its lack thereof, throughout history. A delight for anyone with a smart, dark sense of humor.
Author: Lee Konstantinou
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2016-03-07
Genre: Literary Criticism
Lee Konstantinou examines irony in American literary and political life, showing how it migrated from the countercultural margins of the 1950s to the 1980s mainstream. Along the way, irony was absorbed into postmodern theory and ultimately become a target of recent writers who have moved beyond its limitations with a practice of “postirony.”
Linda Hutcheon, in this original study, examines the modes, forms and techniques of narcissistic fiction, that is, fiction which includes within itself some sort of commentary on its own narrative and/or linguistic nature. Her analysis is further extended to discuss the implications of such a development for both the theory of the novel and reading theory. Having placed this phenomenon in its historical context Linda Hutcheon uses the insights of various reader-response theories to explore the “paradox” created by metafiction: the reader is, at the same time, co-creator of the self-reflexive text and distanced from it because of its very self-reflexiveness. She illustrates her analysis through the works of novelists such as Fowles, Barth, Nabokov, Calvino, Borges, Carpentier, and Aquin. For the paperback edition of this important book a preface has been added which examines developments since first publication. Narcissistic Narrative was selected by Choice as one of the outstanding academic books for 1981–1982.