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The Culture of Redemption

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  3 reviews
In this frankly polemical book, Leo Bersani does battle with a pervasive view in modern culture: the idea that art can save us from the catastrophes of history and sexuality. Bersani questions this assumption and ranges widely through modern literature to prove his point. He makes fascinating comparisons between Melanie Klein and Marcel Proust; the enigmatic and more unres ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 1st 2001 by Replica Books (first published February 1st 1990)
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Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: academic
One fun thing about literary criticism is the way the author assumes you have read literally every single thing they have read AND that you understood it in the same way. Which, it seems like if that were true you wouldn’t need to write the book because I would already know it all?

Anyway, lots of interesting ideas in here, but god help me with trying to actually follow most of them.
Jan 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mythology
This book should come with a heavy prerequisite reading list including Proust, Melanie Klein, Baudelaire, and the entirety of Ulysses. As I realized I was a bit out of my depths with this text, I took to reading the sections of interest to my research, namely Freud and Nietzsche. The section on Freud took a disappointing focus on his erotic theory, and I admittedly fell asleep at one point. That's just never been of much interest to me... The section on Nietzsche focused on The Birth of Tragedy, ...more
May 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bersani doesn't play around. I read this for my senior thesis, even though I wasn't writing on the dozens of texts he talks about, and there's a lot of thought at work here. I enjoyed it, but enjoyed in the sense of "this is really dense and once I understood it I liked talking about it." Not light reading or for the light hearted.

A background in Proust, Ulysses and a fair amount of psychoanalysis (Freud and Klein - not Lacan) is going to make this a lot easier on you.
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Leo Bersani is an American literary theorist and Professor Emeritus of French at the University of California, Berkeley. He also taught at Wellesley College and Rutgers University.

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