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The Biography of "the Idea of Literature"
From Antiquity to the Baroque
The Biography of
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Adrian Marino - Author
Virgil Stanciu - Translator
Charles M. Carlton - Translator
SUNY series, The Margins of Literature
Price: $56.50 
Hardcover - 336 pages
Release Date: December 1996
ISBN10: 0-7914-2893-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-2893-1

Quantity:  
Price: $26.95 
Paperback - 336 pages
Release Date: December 1996
ISBN10: 0-7914-2894-X
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-2894-8

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Summary Read First Chapter image missing

A comprehensive examination of the meaning, history, and evolution of the basic notion of "literature" from antiquity to the seventeenth century.

The "idea of literature" is the very kernel of every literary study; however, this is the first survey of the historical development of this idea. Its purpose is to refute the belief, particularly prevalent in French criticism, that the "idea of literature" only appeared in the eighteenth century, and that it was perceived strictly as an art.

"This book documents the slowness of institutionalization, particularly of literature. It describes the chaotic and gradual growth of the concept of literature. Without having any axe to grind, it neatly deconstructs (or, at least pokes holes into) any kind of purely rationalist/voluntarist view of invention so prevalent nowdays." -- Virgil Nemoianu, Catholic University of America

"Contrary to the widespread belief that the idea of literature in our modern sense emerged in the eighteenth century, Marino convincingly demonstrates that it goes back to ancient times. He makes the interesting point that much of what we identify as literature belonged, in antiquity and in the medieval period, to the domain of orality. Marino does an outstanding job covering the least known stages in the history of the concept of literature, from Greco-Roman antiquity through the Renaissance and Neo-Classical to the age of the Baroque." -- Matei Calinescu, Indiana University

Adrian Marino is a scholar in Romania who has written books on literary hermeneutics, comparative literature, the history of literary criticism, and critical terminology. His work has been translated into French, Italian, German, Japanese, and English. Marino's most recent book, published in Italy, is a study of literary theory, Teoria della letteratura.


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Preface

I. Antiquity

First Definitions

Written Literature
Oral Literature
Sacred Literature
Profane Literature

Literary Culture

Grammar and Culture
Vocation for Totality
The Book
The Library
The Beginning of Bibliography
The Encyclopedia
"Liberal Art"
"Human Letters"
"Good Letters"

The Coordinates of Culture

New Versus Old Letters
National Versus Universal Letters

The Beginning of Estheticizing

"Beautiful Letters"
Literary Versus Poetic Specificity
Autonomy and Heteronomy
Hierarchy in Literature

The School of Literature

Letters "Spawn" Literature
Critical Literature

Denying Literature

Conclusions

II. The Middle Ages

Sacred Letters

Profane Letters

Written Literature
Oral Literature

The Culture of Letters

Grammar and Culture
The Totality of Letters
The Book
The Library
The Bibliography
The Encyclopedia

Diversification of Profane Letters

"Liberal Letters"
"Human Letters"
"Good Letters"

The Coordinates of Letters

New Versus Old Letters
National Versus Universal Letters
Popular Letters

Estheticizing Letters

"Beautiful Letters"
Literature and Poetry
Poetic Literature
Literariness: Sacred Versus Profane
The Beginning of Autonomy

The Heteronomy of Letters

Hierarchy in Literature

The School of Literature

The Study of Literature
Literary Composition
Literature on Literature
Critical Literature

Denying Literature

Conclusions

III. The Renaissance and Humanism

Letters Are Humanized and Spiritualized

"Human Letters"
"Liberal Letters"
"Good Letters"

Profane Letters

Written Literature
Oral Literature

Sacred Letters

The Culture of Letters

Grammar and Culture
The Totality of Literature
Encyclopedic Knowledge
Letters and Print
The Book of Literature
The Literature Library
The Beginning of Bibliography

The Coordinates of Letters

New Versus Old Letters
National Versus Universal Letters
Popular Letters

Estheticizing Letters

"Beautiful Letters"
Beautiful Literature
Literature or Poetry?
Literary Art
Literary Versus Poetic Specificity
The Autonomy of Literature: Progress

The Heteronomy of Literature

"The Republic of Letters"
Society
Economy
Ideology

Hierarchy in Literature

The School of Literature

The Study of Literature
Literature with Literature
Literature on Literature
Critical Literature

Denying Literature

Conclusions

IV. Classicism and the Baroque

Traditional Definitions

Grammar and Culture
Written Literature
Oral Literature
Sacred Literature
Profane Literature

Organizing Letters

The Totality of Letters
The Book
The Library
The Bibliography
The Encyclopedia

The Classicization of Traditional Definitions

"Human Letters"
"Liberal Letters"
"Good Letters"

The Coordinates of Letters

Ancient Versus Modem Letters
National Versus World Literature
Popular Letters

Estheticizing Letters

"Beautiful Letters"
Beautiful Literature
Literature or Poetry?
Poetic Literature
Literary Art
Literary Versus Poetic Specificity
The Autonomy of Literature

The Heteronomy of Literature

"The Republic of Letters"
Society
Economy
Ideology

Hierarchy in Literature

The School of Literature

Literature with Literature
Literature on Literature
Critical Literature

Denying Literature

Conclusions

Notes

Name Index

Thematic Index



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