For a New Sociology of Literature : Befriending Sociology and Aesthetics



Rok publikování 2019
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Fakulta sociálních studií

Popis When analyzing literary fiction, sociologists still tend to the well-accustomed boundaries between the literary and the sociological, thus leaving literature dissected and stripped of its aesthetic qualities. Instead, I focus on the process of meaning-making as it occurs within the interaction between the reader and the novel. In return, it allows me to capture those aspects of understanding of social experience that are usually ‘lost in translation’ between fictional and sociological genres. My major claims are that, first, when referring to social reality, both sociological and literary texts employ aesthetic function to mediate understanding for the reader. Second, within literary genre, the aesthetic function operates on a much larger scale, which makes the texts especially suitable to communicate the existential and emotional aspects of social reality. Third, to maximize the benefit from the sociological inquiry of literature, we must treat the aesthetic function with due care, that is, we must be particularly sensitive towards the subtlety and ambiguity of meaning mediated by the aesthetic function. The research model I propose for a ‘new sociology of literature’ adopts the concept of landscape of meaning developed by Isaac Reed in combination with aesthetic structuralism of Czech linguist Jan Mukařovský. This model will be demonstrated through an analysis of the Czech novel Sestra (published in English as City Sister Silver) by Jáchym Topol
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