Foucault, Dewey, and the Experience of Literature

  title={Foucault, Dewey, and the Experience of Literature},
  author={T. O'Leary},
  journal={New Literary History},
  pages={543 - 557}
  • T. O'Leary
  • Published 2005
  • Sociology
  • New Literary History
What is the work of literature? Can we expect that poetry, or literature, or art, should engage in the world of action, the world of doing things? Do we reluctantly accept, with Auden, that poetry makes nothing happen, or do we adopt Seamus Heaney's optimism that poetry might be able to stop tanks? This paper addresses these questions by drawing on Foucault's idea of the transformability of experience, and Dewey's analysis of the way that art works in our experience. It argues that the force… Expand
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