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Thinking in Forms II: Narrative and the Affordances of Experience

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Organizer: Corina Stan

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What is the connection between narrative and experience? This seminar proposes to explore this relationship, taking “experience” both in the twofold Benjaminian sense of discrete life occurrences (Erlebnis) and accumulated wisdom derived from them (Erfahrung), on one hand, and as the activity of immersion in the world of a text and the responses the latter elicits. How do novels think, and what shapes a reader’s aesthetic experience, as well as ethical involvement in the moral dilemmas of fictional characters? What kinds of claims to community does a novel make, and what is the relationship between such claims and the genre(s) it courts? What conversations can we imagine between the experiences narrated in, and afforded by literary genres, and the philosophical reflection on human experience?
 

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