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Hermeneutics of poetic sense : critical studies of literature, cinema, and cultural history / Mario J. Valdés

Main Author Valdés, Mario J., 1934- Country Canadá. Publication Toronto : University of Toronto Press, cop. 1998 Description XI, 169 p. ; 24 cm Series Theory-culture) ISBN 0-8020-4243-0 CDU 82.0 801.73
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Monografia Biblioteca Vitor Aguiar e Silva
BVAS 82.0 - V Indisponível | Not available 257120
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

In his earlier books, Shadows in the Cave (1982) and Phenomenological Hermeneutics and the Study of Literature (1987), Mario Valdés laid the foundation for his phenomenological-hermeneutic approach to literary criticism. With this book he continues the development of his ideas, using his views of literature, cinema, and art to unravel what he calls 'the imaginative configuration of the world, the cultural phenomenon of making sense, poetic sense, of life.'

The book takes the form of a collection of studies dealing with a variety of key issues in literary theory. A central theme is the role of the reader in assigning meaning to written works. Literature is understood in its capacity to make sense of certain basic aspects of human experience, including the quest for order in the universe, personal identity over time, a definition of the self with respect to the other, and a definition of the self as a member of a cultural community. Valdés begins each chapter with a synopsis of leading philosophical and literary-theoretical views on the subject at hand, then presenting and illustrating his own position through a detailed analysis of one or more literary works, primarily by Hispanic and Latin American authors.

This meticulously constructed phenomenological-experiential approach to literature effectively intervenes in a number of major critical controversies. Valdés's project, begun with his earlier works and continued here, has been to rewrite literary history from a cross-cultural perspective mediated by educated readers.

Reviews provided by Syndetics


"Literature attains meaningfulness through referentiality." Armed with this bold assertion, Valdes takes a new hermeneutical and reader-response approach to elaborate undeveloped assumptions from his earlier studies (Shadows in the Cave, 1982, and Phenomenological Hermeneutics and the Study of Literature, CH, Sep'87). The four chapters, each about 40 pages, look at the role of the reader in assigning meaning to written works--order versus chaos, personal identity, and self-definition. Inspired in large part by the work of philosopher Paul Ricoeur (especially his three-volume Time and Narrative, CH, Jan'85, Jun'86, Dec'88), Valdes is one of the few scholars of Hispanic and Latin American studies able to bridge the gap between literary criticism and theory. His explication of semiotic ostensive reference, sociocultural reference, textual autoreference, and experiential referentiality make rewarding reading. For his illustrative texts, Valdes leaps with an experienced comparatist's ease and meticulousness from Spanish poets and filmmakers to French novelists, from the classic film Casablanca to the notion of serendipity in current physics, while energetically underscoring the blurred lines between form and background in the "new," postmodern literary history. Recommended for graduate and research libraries. R. Cormier; Longwood College

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