1st Edition

The Humanist (Re)Turn: Reclaiming the Self in Literature

By Michael Bryson Copyright 2020
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    The exciting new book argues for a renewed emphasis on humanism--contrary to the trend of post-humanism, or what Neema Parvini calls "the anti-humanism" of the last several decades of literary and theoretical scholarship. In this trail-blazing study, Michael Bryson argues for this renewal of perspective by covering literature written in different languages, times, and places, calling for a return to a humanism, which focuses on literary characters and their psychological and existential struggles—not struggles of competition, but of connection, the struggles of fragmented, incomplete individuals for integration, wholeness, and unity.


    Chapter One

    Reclaiming the Self

    Chapter Two

    Transcendence Through Participation and Action in the Bhagavad Gita

    Chapter Three

    The Binding of Criseyde and Troilus

    Chapter Four

    Success and Failure of Transcendence in Christopher Marlowe’s Dido Queene of Carthage and William Shakespeare’s Othello

    Chapter Five

    Transcendence as Disobedience and Choice in Clarissa, Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Eyre...

    Chapter Six

    Transcendence as Participation

    Chapter Seven

    Reclaiming A Solemn Bequest: Transcending Fragmentation, Recovering Trust, and Returning from Exile in Silas Marner

    Chapter Eight

    Transcendence Through Transgression and Kenosis

    Epilogue: What Is to Come?




    Michael Bryson is a professor of English at California State University, Northridge, specializing in Shakespeare, Milton, Biblical and Classical literature, literary theory, and the history of European poetry and criticism. His previous books include Love and its Critics, The Atheist Milton, and The Tyranny of Heaven.