Journal Article

SOME FUSIONS AND DIFFUSIONS OF HORIZON IN A GADAMERIAN READING OF <i>A PASSAGE TO INDIA</i>

Michael Giffin

in Literature and Theology

Volume 12, issue 2, pages 170-186
Published in print June 1998 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online June 1998 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/12.2.170
SOME FUSIONS AND DIFFUSIONS OF HORIZON IN A GADAMERIAN READING OF A PASSAGE TO INDIA

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Since the early-nineteenth century several authors have explored the crises of imagination thought to be located within the tension between the classical, the romantic, the modern and the postmodern imaginaries.

This is the great enterprise of what Habermas has called ‘postmetaphysical thinking’, that has dominated the western eye for nearly two hundred years, with its ongoing interrogation of the Enlightenment and classical metaphysics. Postmetaphysical thinking is the guiding principle that informs the aesthetic ideology of the modernist novel. That genre explores a psychology of consciousness that has taken a linguistic turn, and in so doing the genre seeks to deconstruct the mythologjcally and metaphorically constructed ‘realities’ it believes to dominate the human imagination.

This genre shares much with theories of being articulated by the descendants of Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger and now Demda. It is possible that Gadamenan hermeneuacs, with its matrix of language-as-horizon, becomes a key to understanding those novels concerned to explore the way different hermeneutical modes interact. This proposition is neither radical or startling if we consider that the discourses of literature, philosophy and theology have always been related, and equally that both Gadamer and Forster think and write within the postmetaphysical ferment of their age.

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Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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