Getting It Right

Language, Literature, and Ethics

Geoffrey Galt Harpham

Getting It Right
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Geoffrey Galt Harpham

254 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1992
Cloth $59.00 ISBN: 9780226316932 Published July 1992
In a critical scene deeply troubled by questions of justice and responsibility, and beset by political and moral scandals, no issue in recent years has been more urgent or more unsettled than the question of ethics. Geoffrey Galt Harpham, whose previous book, The Ascetic Imperative in Culture and Criticism, was one of the first to announce the critical renewal of ethics, attempts in this new book to explain why ethical questions resist settlement. He urges a new account of ethics not as a stable set of principles, values, or prescriptions, but as a variable factor of "imperativity" immanent in language, analysis, narrative, and creation.
Chapter 1. Ethics and Its Others
1. The Discourse of the Other and Other Discourses
2. Incoherence and the Ethical Mode of Presentation
3. Double Agent, Double Duty
4. Morality and the Chain of Command
Chapter 2. Language and Ethics, From the Beginning
1. Language and the Decay of Value
2. From Agency to Relation
3. Language as Resistance
4. Language from the Ethical Point of View, with Examples from Wittgenstein and de Man
Chapter 3. From Conversion to Analysis
1. Conversion, Pain, and Pleasure
2. Psychoanalysis and the Ethic of the Mind
3. The Ethics of Analysis
Chapter 4. Getting It Right: The Story of Creation
1. The Narrative Imperative
2. Abroad only by a Fiction: Creation, Irony, and Necessity in Conrad's The Secret Agent
Works Cited Index
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