Book Details
Mandatory Fields
Szakolczai, Arpad
Novels and the Sociology of the Contemporary
London and New York
Optional Fields
This book substantiates two claims. First, the modern world was not simply produced by ‘objective’ factors, rooted in geographical discoveries and scientific inventions, to be traced to economic, technological or political factors, but is the outcome of social, cultural and spiritual processes. Among such factors, beyond the Protestant ethic (Max Weber), the rise of the absolutist state and its disciplinary network (Michel Foucault), or court society (Norbert Elias), a prime role is played by theatre. The modern reality is deeply theatricalised. Second, a special access for studying this theatricalised world is offered by novels. The best classical novels not simply can be interpreted as describing a world ‘like’ the theatre, but they capture and present a world that has become thoroughly transformed into a global theatre. The theatre effectively transformed the world, and classical novels effectively analyse this ‘theatricalised’ reality – much better than the main instruments supposedly destined to study reality, philosophy and sociology. Thus, instead of using the technique of sociology to analyse novels, the book will treat novels as a ‘royal road’ to analyse a theatricalised reality, in order to find our way back to a genuine and meaningful life.
xii + 374
Grant Details