By Susanna Lee

ISBN-10: 1611482267

ISBN-13: 9781611482263

This can be a literary and philosophical research that hyperlinks the assumption of secularism to the shape of the unconventional. It bargains a groundbreaking serious starting place either for knowing the movement towards a mundane tradition and for analyzing the function of the person in sleek moral, political, and religious contexts.

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Example text

Do we lose our heads over the horns of the one, the jaws of the other? Display them, stuff them, preserve them, fine, but appreciate them, no. 1 It is around the time that Flaubert writes this letter that European science does in fact begin to treat humans like mastodons or crocodiles. The human organism is studied as the product of the metamorphosis of species, and this metamorphosis as the enactment of natural (rather than supernatural) forces. Scientists describe species without sentimentalities, remaining personally uninvolved with the object of study.

He shows his authorial gestures to be gestures, spectacles, and performances. On the one hand, this narrator is the undisputed master of his chronicle of 1830, but the question remains: what chronicle is that? What has happened? Even the narrator does not seem to have the answer. I have started this study with Le rouge et le noir because the novel articulates subtle and varied responses to participation in a secular culture: subverting readings, welcoming the arbitrary, separating character from social status, recuperating and undermining sacred order.

Like the sort of children’s book that divides into horizontal sections so that the head of a bear can rest on the body of a horse and the legs of a chicken, Le rouge et le noir encourages such curious combinations and resists a condensing explanatory narrative. We know that the transition to secularism poses the problem of where meaning is to be situated, within the character or in the outside world. Chance, both as a dramatic instrument and as a narrative principle, precludes a harmonic vision of the outside world.

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A World Abandoned by God: Narrative and Secularism by Susanna Lee


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