Advantages of Philosophical Literature – 200 Must-Read Books
Posted On April 21, 2023
(Last Updated On: April 21, 2023)
What are the advantages of literature? With the start of the 1970s, literature witnessed a major change. The threads of philosophical thinking began to impact literature. I’d want to use this space to philosophize about literature based on the numerous reads I’ve accumulated. New Criticism, Psychoanalysis, Existentialism, Structuralism, Post Structuralism, Marxism, Feminism, and Post Colonial Literature are some of the philosophical developments in literature. Through a critical study of literary works that I have read, I would like to evaluate each of these philosophical ideas and their influence on literature. This article will share some insights into the advantages of literature. Keep reading.
In the same manner that mathematics and philosophy are academic fields of study, literature is not. In the sense that philosophical concepts are frequently conveyed to readers through literature, philosophy makes use of literature.
Literature is concerned with fiction, emotion, and metaphorical language, whereas philosophy is concerned with truth, intellect, and the literal use of language. As a result, unlike certain novels, philosophy seldom makes us cry.
What is New Criticism, exactly? New Criticism is a philosophical school of thought that stresses the importance of reading literary works for their aesthetic value. As a result, New Criticism stresses language’s metaphorical issues. Tropes are linguistic sculptures created by the afflatus of the pen. For example, if I claim that my body is in the Diaspora of a Palestine desert, the meaning would translate into an aesthetic, which is a metaphor that represents the dispersal of the body, the libidinal impulses into a homeland, a barren area like a desert on the advantages of literature.
Advantages of literature
The aesthetic impact of interpreting the metaphor would be this. However, considering the metaphor solely in terms of figurative connotations causes challenges of interpretation in singularity. Politically and psychoanalytically, the same metaphor might be applied. The political and psychoanalytical consciousnesses are juxtaposed and smoothly woven into an enlightened aesthetic of experience by the same metaphor. For a political interpretation of the metaphor, we must go into the history of Palestine, which is the voice of the oppressed in a tumultuous political landscape yearning for a country.
Reading the metaphor via a psychoanalytic lens, we may refer to Freud and Lacan’s theories, and rerouting there would lead us to the author’s unconscious, which is trapped in the prison of sublimating the libidinal ID’s baser wants to the literature of creative expression. As a result, readings of interpretive discourse in other domains are hampered by New Criticism.
Psychoanalysis is drenched in a downpour of varying degrees of ferocity. There are two schools of thinking, one Jungian and the other Freudian, as well as a third that incorporates Jacque Lacan revisiting Freud’s beliefs.
Let me first explain Jungian psychoanalysis and how it works in writing. Archetypes are a well-known concept in Jungian psychoanalysis. Archetypes are models, patterns, or traces that are stored in the collective unconscious of the mind, according to Jung, and are universally recurrent elements in consciousness culture. The wizard, the witch, the fairy, the fairy Godmother, the seer, the magician, the demon, the Father, the Mother, and so on are some of the most prevalent archetypes featured in fairy tales.
It would be very hard to prove the existence of the collective unconscious. In analytic mode, however, these Jungian archetypes show particular personality features. Let’s take the instance of the Witch, for example. A witch is described as ugliness, treachery, covetousness, and greediness on the advantages of literature. On the other hand, it’s worth noting that Wizards have been elevated to an exalted, virtuous rank on the binary chain. It is distressing to learn that witches were sought, tormented, and murdered during the Inquisition.
This is the psychoanalytic archetypal model in action. Witchcraft becomes a model for producing the ‘other,’ someone who is misunderstood and is culturally repressed. Understanding that the witch archetype is a personality type that has been culturally traumatized necessitates a postmodern deconstructionist philosophy. This persecution would have its diabolical origins in fairy tale literature, which portrayed witches as the evil others. For radically minded feminists, the classic concept of the witch would be a misnomer, and the traits of witches would be misinterpreted as creations of masculine imagination.
The next psychoanalytic school of thought is Freudian, which led to a subsequent tendency, one of which being Jacques Lacan’s critique of Freudian doctrines of the advantages of literature. The libido theories of Sigmund Freud are used as interpretive constructions for literary reading. I happened to be teaching students George Bernard Shaw’s classic play The Arms and the Man. I was particularly taken aback by his portrayal of masculine characters fascinated with oedipal dreams that they invest in their female amours.
The lovers, particularly the females, are portrayed as lovely nurses and mothers in talks. What’s remarkable is that these illusions are not created with the conscious aim by George Bernard Shaw, but rather are reflections of his own unconscious. For feminists, this raises the question of whether Shaw was Oedipally obsessed.
With a critical rereading of Freud’s works in the 1970s, the infamous Jacque Lacan revolutionized psychoanalysis. Lacan sparked a firestorm of debate not just in psychoanalytic circles, but also in the understanding of language that, in his psychoanalytic terminology, disrupts the ideal of the unity contained in a realized self.
For him, the self is a collection of creations that must work together to form a cohesive whole. Lacan is well-known for claiming that the unconscious is structured similarly to language. Lacan’s most famous notion is the mirror stage, which he introduced. The mirror stage is a period in a child’s development when he or she is mentally weaned from a fragmented body to an imagined body with a formed self process according to the advantages of literature.
The mirror stage occurs when a child enters the realm of language, marking a break from the mother’s comfort zone, which is a lullaby of language that feminist philosopher Julia Christeva refers to as the semiotic realm, a realm in which language is not a judge of expression, a realm in which language functions with poetic subjectivity.
The idea of the gaze, which in psychoanalytic literature means more than a casual look, a look with an aim, a look that appropriates, was born along with the mirror stage. Today’s literature offers many different perspectives, such as the male gaze, the feminine gaze, the queer gaze, and so on. In literature, cinema, and advertising, the gaze and the mirror image are utilized as crucial interpretive readings.
Existentialism was a philosophy associated with enlightenment in the writings of John Paul Sartre and Albert Camus during its heyday. Sartre believes that the person is totally responsible for the choices she or he makes and that the burden of choosing an existential experience fills him or her with either bliss or anxiety with the advantages of literature. It is poor faith to shift the weight of choosing a person or entity like God. There is no metaphysical or transcendent entity, according to Sartre, who exerts a will in the cosmos, and despite the fact that life is useless, we must verify our existence.
According to Sartre, negation is a powerful weapon for self-realization, and it allows us to take responsibility for our actions while simultaneously condemning us to agony. For existentialists, deeper meaning or purpose of existence would be creative anarchy of nihilism. We can encounter narcissistic anarchy of experience that is as profound as the mystic and saintly in literature by dissolving the fragmented tropes from their genesis. For Albert Camus, we are the ironic tragic, machine metaphor Sisyphus, who is obliged to drag a rock uphill for inexplicable reasons, only to have it fall downhill and condemn him to live a life of monotony.
Now I’d want to look into structural thinking in literature. Ferdinand Saussure’s efforts helped to popularize structuralism. All language is a set of signals for him. The signifier and the signified make form a sign. If we connote the dove as peace, for example, the dove is the signifier and peace is the signified. The signified is the abstract notion, whereas the signifier is the actual tangibility. Roland Barthes, a poststructuralist philosopher, deconstructed signals in literature, philosophy, media, and styles.
The problem with the structural method is that it ignores the aesthetic hermeneutic and reduces literature to a machine. The reader is drawn into a phenomenological, experienced aesthetic by literature. Reading literature as a machine of signs would be insane. Poetry must be read poetically with cathartic subjectivity in literature.
We began to recognize that literature is also a product of ideology when Marxian thought was introduced into the hermeneutic reading of literature. All ideological apparatuses, including the author, the advantages of literature, the text, and the reader. Literature can unwittingly enhance social class awareness. For example, Shakespeare’s writings are all bourgeoisie, that is, they deal with the works, lifestyles, and cultures of society’s top echelons.
For a Marxist, an author’s fame may stem from his or her desire to advance class interests, which are again commoditized through popular culture. What is popular in culture may in actuality be a society’s covert aim to foster a class consciousness in which there is a dominating class and a subordinate class.
I’d like to write about post-structuralism by discussing its phenomenal pharaoh, Jacques Derrida, the master of deconstructionism. We understand the process of dividing language into binary divisions thanks to Derrida. According to Derrida, it is natural for language to favor one term above another.
In the occident’s ideologies and literature, for example, man is a preferred word above woman, and patriarchal discourses devalue women. In religions, God the Almighty identifies with the prevailing style of discourse, light, and heaven, while the Devil is marginalized into darkness and hell. It is the reader’s responsibility to investigate and dig privileged meanings in a text. Again, Derrida criticizes western ideas that place a premium on writing above communication.
Because there are so many philosophers and never-ending streams of thought, it’s difficult to bring the fragmented forms of feminist discourse together. I’d want to include Julia Kristeva’s, Helene Cixous’, and Judith Butler’s narratives into the conversation. Julia Kristeva developed a semiotic and symbolic story of language. The semiotic is a world of language that eschews syntax in favor of poetic interaction subjectivity.
Streams of consciousness narrative is a famous example of language in the semiotic mode, and it can be found in abundance in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Music and dance are two examples of semiotics in action. A semiotic domain can also exist in language, such as when one speaks to oneself. The symbolic is a linguistic world in which language takes on judicial, scientific, philosophical, and even therapeutic functions. The article ‘The Laugh of the Medusa’ by Helene Cixous opened my eyes to how language works: that is the Father’s language.
Patriarchal rhetoric pervades the language. She urges women to become more aware of their bodies and selves, as well as to break free from phallic language. Judith Butler has gone so far as to create a feminine phallus, de-signifying Freudian female conceptions as oedipal fixations for males with the advantages of literature. Women are no longer trapped in Freud’s dark continent, but freed messiahs who are no longer defined by phallic language as a self, body, or gender. Instead of suffering penis envy due to a lack of a penis, women can create a lesbian phallus. Her gender muteness is more important than her physical orientation. Orientation is a process in which participants participate in bodily investigations.
Nobody can deny the importance of postcolonial discourse. The goal of postcolonial discourses is to examine the colonized’s schism in colonial writings. Colonies that have gained independence from the colonized have learned to adapt, develop, and employ the English language in innovative ways. Despite the fact that many books condemn the colonial mindset, they ultimately become discourses about colonial control. Rudyard Kipling’s and Joseph Conrad’s writings are noteworthy. In his postcolonial literature, Homi Baba offers some intriguing ideas. And they were since the colonist-colonized relationship was predicated on cultural fear.
The colonists desired that the colonized emulate their conduct while remaining subordinate to them. In his essay “Discourse of the Orient,” Edward Said questioned the way the Orient was constituted as Occidental discourse. In building, the Orient has been transformed into an exotic location where culture and civilization are at their lowest ebb. In Occidentalism, the native was a gloomy dream. A postcolonial reading of a book would be reading archaeology in which the script is examined as a political, religious, and cultural subordination.