In Defense of Dialogue: Reading Habermas and Postwar American Literature offers a timely investigation of the value of dialogue in contemporary American culture. Using Jürgen Habermas’s theory of communicative action to read the work of Frank O’Hara, James Baldwin, Grace Paley, and Andy Warhol, In Defense of Dialogue assembles postwar writers who have never been studied alongside one another, showing how they overcame the pervading skepticism of their contemporaries to imagine sincere and rational speakers who seek to cultivate intersubjective discourse.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Why Bother? Literature and Communicative Action
Chapter Two: Love, "Lucky Pierre Style," in Frank O’Hara
Chapter Three: James Baldwin’s Pursuit of Potentiality
Chapter Four: "Ourselves, Our Single Self": Talk as World in Grace Paley
Chapter Five: Andy Warhol’s Philosophy as Dialogue (From A to B and Back Again)
Conclusion: Walk the Talk
Monika Gehlawat is Associate Director of the School of Humanities and Associate Professor of English at the University of Southern Mississippi where she teaches courses on contemporary, modern and world literature, critical theory, and visual art. She has published essays in Post 45: Peer-Reviewed, The James Baldwin Review, Contemporary Literature, and Literary Imagination. She also serves as Critic for the Center for Writers at USM and Series Editor for Literary Conversations.