WOLFGANG ISER - Author

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Books by WOLFGANG ISER

Stepping Forward Essays, Lectures and Interviews

Stepping Forward Essays, Lectures and Interviews

Author: WOLFGANG ISER Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2012

Walter Pater The Aesthetic Moment

Walter Pater The Aesthetic Moment

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/02/2011

Wolfgang Iser's study of Walter Pater (1839-94) was first published in German in 1960. It places the English critic, essayist and novelist in a philosophical tradition whose major exponents were Hegel and Coleridge, at the same time showing how Pater differed crucially from these thinkers to become representative of a late Victorian culture critically poised in transition between Romanticism and Modernism. Pater's new definitions of 'beauty' and 'style' in art, his doctrine of 'art for art's sake', his preoccupation with aesthetic existence, his fascination with periods of balance and historical transition are seen in the light of his scepticism towards all systematisation and his view of art as countering human finiteness by capturing the intensity of the moment. This important book, which remains as illuminating now as when it first appeared, will interest those interested in philosophy and aesthetics and Pater specialists alike.

Stepping Forward Essays, Lectures and Interviews

Stepping Forward Essays, Lectures and Interviews

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/2008

How to Do Theory

How to Do Theory

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 13/07/2005

This succinct introduction to modern theories of literature and the arts demonstrates how each theory is built and what it can accomplish. It represents a wide variety of theories, including phenomenological theory, hermeneutical theory, gestalt theory, reception theory, semiotic theory, Marxist theory, deconstruction, anthropological theory, and feminist theory. It uses classic literary texts, such as Keats' Ode on a Grecian Urn , Spenser's The Shephearde's Calender and T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land to illustrate his explanations. It includes key statements by the major proponents of each theory. It presents the different theories objectively, allowing students to decide which if any, they subscribe to. It gives students a sense of the potential of theory. It includes a glossary of technical terms.

The Range of Interpretation

The Range of Interpretation

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/08/2001

There is a tacit assumption that interpretation comes naturally, that human beings live by constantly interpreting. In this sense, we might even rephrase Descartes by saying: We interpret, therefore we are. While such a basic human disposition makes interpretation appear to come naturally, the forms it takes, however, do not. In this work, Iser offers a fresh approach by formulating an anatomy of interpretation through which we can understand the act of interpretation in its many different manifestations. For Iser, there are several different genres of interpretation, all of which are acts of translation designed to transpose something into something else. Perhaps the most obvious example of interpretation involves canonical texts, such as the Rabbinical exegesis of the Torah or Samuel Johnson's reading of Shakespeare. But what happens when the matter that one seeks to interpret consists not of a text but of a welter of fragments, as in the study of history, or when something is hidden, as in the practice of psychoanalysis, or is as complex as a culture or system? Iser details how, in each of these cases, the space that is opened up by interpretation is negotiated in a different way, thus concluding that interpretation always depends on what it seeks to translate. For students of philosophy, literary and critical theory, anthropology, and cultural history, Iser's elucidation of the mechanics by which we translate and understand, as well as his assessment of the anthropological roots of our drive to make meaning, will undoubtedly serve as a revelation.

The Range of Interpretation

The Range of Interpretation

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/02/2000

There is a tacit assumption that interpretation comes naturally, that human beings live by constantly interpreting. In this sense, we might even rephrase Descartes by saying: We interpret, therefore we are. While such a basic human disposition makes interpretation appear to come naturally, the forms it takes, however, do not. In this work, Iser offers a fresh approach by formulating an anatomy of interpretation through which we can understand the act of interpretation in its many different manifestations. For Iser, there are several different genres of interpretation, all of which are acts of translation designed to transpose something into something else. Perhaps the most obvious example of interpretation involves canonical texts, such as the Rabbinical exegesis of the Torah or Samuel Johnson's reading of Shakespeare. But what happens when the matter that one seeks to interpret consists not of a text but of a welter of fragments, as in the study of history, or when something is hidden, as in the practice of psychoanalysis, or is as complex as a culture or system? Iser details how, in each of these cases, the space that is opened up by interpretation is negotiated in a different way, thus concluding that interpretation always depends on what it seeks to translate. For students of philosophy, literary and critical theory, anthropology, and cultural history, Iser's elucidation of the mechanics by which we translate and understand, as well as his assessment of the anthropological roots of our drive to make meaning, will undoubtedly serve as a revelation.

Staging Politics The Lasting Impact of Shakespeare's Histories

Staging Politics The Lasting Impact of Shakespeare's Histories

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/01/1994

In a series of readings, the author examines Shakespeare's five major history plays and accounts for their continued popularity, both in film and on stage. He examines the historical context out of which the plays emerged, and describes how the period gave birth to a modern form of politics.

The Fictive and the Imaginary Charting Literary Anthropology

The Fictive and the Imaginary Charting Literary Anthropology

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/1993

The pioneer of literary anthropology, Wolfgang Iser presents a wide-ranging and comprehensive exploration of this new field in an attempt to explain the human need for the particular form of make-believe known as literature. Ranging from the Renaissance pastoral to Coleridge to Sartre and Beckett, The Fictive and the Imaginary is a distinguished work of scholarship from one of Europe's most respected and influential critics.

Prospecting From Reader Response to Literary Anthropology

Prospecting From Reader Response to Literary Anthropology

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/1993

An important transitional book, usefully summarizing the past and thoughtfully mapping out the future of a significant critic's theoretical project. --'Modern Philology.' There is a much greater emphasis on the reader's function as `performer' of the text in 'Prospecting' than in Iser's other books. The two brilliant chapters on Beckett's fiction and drama are crucial here...Literature becomes `play' and `game,' and the reader becomes a performer of himself. This idea of performance becomes central to Iser's new theory. Art does not present life; it performs it. --'Yearbook of English Studies.'

Sterne: Tristram Shandy

Sterne: Tristram Shandy

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/04/1988

Without a beginning and without an end, Tristram Shandy moves in many different directions, defying the conventional expectations of its readers. Wolfgang Iser shows how Sterne exploits the philosophy of his day and its cognitive deficiencies, using digression, humour and play to convey experience of subjectivity, and implicitly to expose the traditional concept of the self.

The Act of Reading A Theory of Aesthetic Response

The Act of Reading A Theory of Aesthetic Response

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/02/1980

Iser examines what happens during the reading process, and how it is basic to the development of a theory of aesthetic response, setting in motion a chain of events that depends both on the text and the exercise of certain human faculties.

The Implied Reader Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett

The Implied Reader Patterns of Communication in Prose Fiction from Bunyan to Beckett

Author: Wolfgang Iser Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/01/1974

Like no other art form, the novel confronts its readers with circumstances arising from their own environment of social and historical norms and stimulates them to assess and criticize their surroundings. By analyzing major works of English fiction ranging from Bunyan, Fielding, Scott, and Thackeray to Joyce and Beckett, renowned critic Wolfgang Iser here provides a framework for a theory of such literary effects and aesthetic responses. Iser's focus is on the theme of discovery, whereby the reader is given the chance to recognize the deficiencies of his own existence and the suggested solutions to counterbalance them. The content and form of this discovery is the calculated response of the reader -- the implied reader. In discovering the expectations and presuppositions that underlie all his perceptions, the reader learns to read himself as he does the text.