Creativity versus Containment: The Aesthetic Defence

Seán Burke

in The Ethics of Writing

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2008 | ISBN: 9780748618309
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652075 | DOI:
Creativity versus Containment: The Aesthetic Defence

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This chapter addresses the fictional or poetic frame as an essential aesthetic defence against the dangerous discourses which, beginning with the very Republic of Plato, flourished in the ‘open sea’ of loss and liberation that is now named as modernity, then again as the romanticisation of philosophy. The work of the Republic falls under the censure of so many of the discursive judgements that were entirely original and new with his writing and the teaching of his master. The responsibilities of the writer extend beyond the writing of ethical works to an ethics of writing in general. If the tentative suggestions made here and in the succeeding volume towards an authorial ethics of writing make only the slightest contribution to the rethinking of the question, ‘What is the Good?’, from within what is but a minor area of literary theory, this project will have achieved its highest aspiration.

Keywords: aesthetic defence; Republic; Plato; modernity; romanticisation; writing; literary theory

Chapter.  5505 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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