Lingering and its decried equivalents, such as dawdling, idling, loafing, or lolling about, are both shunned and coveted in our culture where time is money and where there is never quite enough of either. Is lingering lazy? Is it childish? Boring? Do poets linger? (Is that why poetry is boring?) Is it therapeutic? Should we linger more? Less? What happens when we linger? Harold Schweizer here examines an experience of time that, though common, usually passes unnoticed.
Drawing on a wide range of philosophic and literary texts and examples, On Lingering and Literature exemplifies in its style and accessible argumentation the new genre of post-criticism, and aims to reward anyone interested in slow reading, daydreaming, or resisting our culture of speed and consumption.
Table of Contents
1. A Moment, Please 2. The Temporality of the Beautiful 3. The Economics of Waiting 4. The Poet’s Idleness 5. The Ecstasy of Slowness 6. The Temporality of Whitman’s Grass 7. The Slowness of Looking 8. Virginia Woolf’s Indescribable Pause 9. Proustian Interludes 10. The Weight of Sebald’s Time 11. Instead of Concluding: Stopping
Harold Schweizer is Professor Emeritus of English at Bucknell University, USA, where he taught poetry, literary theory, and Holocaust and trauma studies. Recipient of two awards for excellence in teaching, he is a widely published poet and literary critic. His most recent books are On Waiting; Rarity and the Poetic; and the poetry volumes The Book of Stones and Angels, Miriam’s Book, and The Genealogy of Elevators.
"Erudite and illuminating....a thoroughly researched, thoughtfully conceived exploration of lingering..." Kirkus Reviews
"I do not know if informed and appreciative reflection on such formative moments of literary inspiration constitutes a new genre of post-criticism ... but I am happy to embrace this volume closely for its accessible insights and considerable achievements of style", Journal of Modern Literature
"Although waiting and lingering are both suspended temporalities, lingering emerges in this new book as the temporality of waiting which, by reclaiming the experience of waiting, redeems it." Comparative Critical Studies