Listening on All Sides: Toward an Emersonian Ethics of Reading

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In Listening on All Sides, Richard Deming finds an intersection of literature and philosophy in the poetics of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Herman Melville, Nathanial Hawthorne, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams that offers aesthetic models for the construction of community. Building on the work of Stanley Cavell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and J. L. Austin, Deming challenges current trends in American literary studies and advances the newly developing field of ordinary language criticism. Continental literary theory and Anglo-American philosophy work together in this book to uncover the role literary texts play in the way that language use creates and defines culture.