The Resource Seven Modes of Uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell

Seven Modes of Uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell

Label
Seven Modes of Uncertainty
Title
Seven Modes of Uncertainty
Statement of responsibility
C. Namwali Serpell
Creator
Author
Subject
Language
  • eng
  • eng
Summary
Literature is rife with uncertainty. Literature is good for us. These two ideas about reading literature are often taken for granted. But what is the relationship between literature's capacity to unsettle, perplex, and bewilder us, and literature's ethical value? To revive this question, C. Namwali Serpell proposes a return to William Empson's groundbreaking work, Seven Types of Ambiguity (1930), which contends that literary uncertainty is crucial to ethics because it pushes us beyond the limits of our own experience. Taking as case studies experimental novels by Thomas Pynchon, Toni Morrison, Bret Easton Ellis, Ian McEwan, Elliot Perlman, Tom McCarthy, and Jonathan Safran Foer, Serpell suggests that literary uncertainty emerges from the reader's shifting responses to structures of conflicting information. A number of these novels employ a structure of mutual exclusion, which presents opposed explanations for the same events. Some use a structure of multiplicity, which presents different perspectives regarding events or characters. The structure of repetition in other texts destabilizes the continuity of events and frustrates our ability to follow the story. To explain how these structures produce uncertainty, Serpell borrows from cognitive psychology the concept of affordance, which describes an object's or environment's potential uses. Moving through these narrative structures affords various ongoing modes of uncertainty, which in turn afford ethical experiences both positive and negative. At the crossroads of recent critical turns to literary form, reading practices, and ethics, Seven Modes of Uncertainty offers a new phenomenology of how we read uncertainty now
Cataloging source
DE-B1597
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Serpell, C. Namwali
Government publication
other
Language note
In English
LC call number
PN3347
LC item number
.S47 2014eb
Nature of contents
dictionaries
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Ethics in literature
  • Fiction
  • Literature and morals
  • Literature
  • Roman
  • Moral
  • Literaturpsychologie
  • Ethik
  • Englisch
  • LITERARY CRITICISM / General
Target audience
specialized
Label
Seven Modes of Uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
  • cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • II. Multiplicity
  • 3. Adjacency Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
  • 4. Accounting Interreading William Empson'S Seven Types Of Ambiguity (1930), Shirley Jackson'S "Seven Types Of Ambiguity" (1943), And Elliot Perlman'S Seven Types Of Ambiguity (2003)
  • III. Repetition
  • 5. Vacuity. Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (1991)
  • 6. Synchronicity Metareading Tom McCarthy's Remainder (2005)
  • 7. Conclusion: Flippancy. Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005)
  • Appendix 1: The Vagaries Of The New Ethics
  • Appendix 2: Seven Modes Of Uncertainty
  • Notes
  • Frontmatter
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • Contents
  • Seven Modes Of Uncertainty
  • Introduction
  • I. Mutual Exclusion
  • 1. Oscillation. The Crying Of Lot 49 (1966)
  • Pynchon, Thomas
  • 2. Enfolding. Rereading Ian McEwan's Atonement (2001)
Extent
1 online resource
Form of item
online
Isbn
9780674419674
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • c
Other control number
10.4159/harvard.9780674419674
Other physical details
1 table
Specific material designation
remote
System control number
  • (DE-B1597)427272
  • (OCoLC)882257939
  • (OCoLC)900717667
  • (OCoLC)999369592
  • (DE-B1597)9780674419674
Label
Seven Modes of Uncertainty, C. Namwali Serpell
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
online resource
Carrier category code
  • cr
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
  • II. Multiplicity
  • 3. Adjacency Toni Morrison, Beloved (1987)
  • 4. Accounting Interreading William Empson'S Seven Types Of Ambiguity (1930), Shirley Jackson'S "Seven Types Of Ambiguity" (1943), And Elliot Perlman'S Seven Types Of Ambiguity (2003)
  • III. Repetition
  • 5. Vacuity. Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho (1991)
  • 6. Synchronicity Metareading Tom McCarthy's Remainder (2005)
  • 7. Conclusion: Flippancy. Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (2005)
  • Appendix 1: The Vagaries Of The New Ethics
  • Appendix 2: Seven Modes Of Uncertainty
  • Notes
  • Frontmatter
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index
  • Contents
  • Seven Modes Of Uncertainty
  • Introduction
  • I. Mutual Exclusion
  • 1. Oscillation. The Crying Of Lot 49 (1966)
  • Pynchon, Thomas
  • 2. Enfolding. Rereading Ian McEwan's Atonement (2001)
Extent
1 online resource
Form of item
online
Isbn
9780674419674
Media category
computer
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • c
Other control number
10.4159/harvard.9780674419674
Other physical details
1 table
Specific material designation
remote
System control number
  • (DE-B1597)427272
  • (OCoLC)882257939
  • (OCoLC)900717667
  • (OCoLC)999369592
  • (DE-B1597)9780674419674

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