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The Resource Seven modes of uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell

Seven modes of uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell

Label
Seven modes of uncertainty
Title
Seven modes of uncertainty
Statement of responsibility
C. Namwali Serpell
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Literature is rife with uncertainty. Literature is good for us. These two ideas about reading literature are often taken for granted. But what is the relationship between literature's capacity to unsettle, perplex, and bewilder us, and literature's ethical value? To revive this question, C. Namwali Serpell proposes a return to William Empson's groundbreaking work, Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930), which contends that literary uncertainty is crucial to ethics because it pushes us beyond the limits of our own experience. Taking as case studies experimental novels by Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Bret Easton Ellis, Ian McEwan, Elliot Perlman, Tom McCarthy, and Jonathan Safran Foer, Serpell suggests that literary uncertainty emerges from the reader's shifting responses to structures of conflicting information. A number of these novels employ a structure of mutual exclusion, which presents opposed explanations for the same events. Some use a structure of multiplicity, which presents different perspectives regarding events or characters. The structure of repetition in other texts destabilizes the continuity of events and frustrates our ability to follow the story. To explain how these structures produce uncertainty, Serpell borrows from cognitive psychology the concept of affordance, which describes an object's or environment's potential uses. Moving through these narrative structures affords various ongoing modes of uncertainty, which in turn afford ethical experiences both positive and negative. At the crossroads of recent critical turns to literary form, reading practices, and ethics, Seven Modes of Uncertainty offers a new phenomenology of how we read uncertainty now --Provided by publisher
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1980-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Serpell, Namwali
Dewey number
809.3/9353
Index
index present
LC call number
PN3347
LC item number
.S47 2014
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Fiction
  • Literature and morals
  • Ethics in literature
  • Literature
  • Uncertainty in literature
  • Ambiguity in literature
  • Experimental fiction
  • Fiction
  • Literature and morals
  • Ethics in literature
  • Literature
  • Uncertainty in literature
  • Ambiguity in literature
  • Experimental fiction
  • Fiction
  • Literature and morals
  • Ethics in literature
  • Literature
Label
Seven modes of uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Control code
859252937
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
viii, 393 pages
Isbn
9780674729094
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2013032892
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
System control number
(OCoLC)859252937
Label
Seven modes of uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier.
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent.
Control code
859252937
Dimensions
25 cm
Extent
viii, 393 pages
Isbn
9780674729094
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2013032892
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia.
System control number
(OCoLC)859252937

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