(CANCELLED) Ingeborg Löfgren: "Interpretation at the Intersection of Philosophy and Literature: Reading Conant Reading Rorty Reading Orwell’s 1984”
- Date: 5/4/2017 at 3:15 PM – 5:00 PM
- Location: Engelska parken - Eng6-0031
- Organizer: The Department of Literature
- Contact person: Torsten Pettersson
The General Seminar - Literature
Ingeborg Löfgren presents an draft of an article about literature and Ordinary Language Criticism.
The full title of my projected article is: "Ordinary Language Criticism in Three Dimensions: Reading Conant Reading Rorty Reading Orwell – Interpretation at the Intersection of Philosophy and Literature". The article takes as focal point the interpretive conflict between philosophers James Conant and Richard Rorty, regarding how to read and understand George Orwell’s novel 1984. The aim of the article is to offer three approaches – taking place on three distinct levels and raising different but related questions and concerns – regarding how to understand the problems animating this conflict from an Ordinary Language Criticism (OLC) perspective. These three approaches will correspond to the following three parts of the article: I. Freedom, Cruelty, Truth – and Reading: Conant on why Rorty is Unable to Read Orwell. Part I analyses Conant’s response to Rorty’s “The Last Intellectual in Europe: Orwell on Cruelty,” and explicate in what manner Conant’s reading of 1984, and his critique of Rorty’s interpretation, is a manifestation of ordinary language criticism. II. Understanding or Using Literary Works: The Grammar of Interpretation and the Anxiety about Philosophical Heresies of Paraphrase. Part II discusses, on a meta-level, what it is that separates a philosophical understanding of a work from a philosophical usage of a work. What is the difference between readings that are informed by some philosophical outlook/tradition/concern, on the one hand, and readings that make philosophical paraphrases of a work in order to facilitate one’s own philosophical argument, on the other? III. Love, Understanding, and Acknowledgment vs. Cruelty, Isolation, and Torture: Cavell on Lived Scepticism and 1984 on Knowing Other Minds and Totalitarian Perversions of Intimacy. In part III, I offer my own reading of 1984, in which I will let Cavell’s discussions of lived skepticism, acknowledgment, love, and its avoidance, converse with and illuminate my interpretation of the protagonist’s two most central human relations in 1984: Winston’s relations to Julia and O’Brien.