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Title: In quest of wisdom : Louise Rosenblatt, H.D., and the transactional literary experience
Author: Vytniorgu, Richard
ISNI:       0000 0004 7968 8900
Awarding Body: De Montfort University
Current Institution: De Montfort University
Date of Award: 2017
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his thesis theorises the relationship between the transactional literary experience and the experience of being in quest of wisdom in literary studies. It achieves this by constructing a dialogue between two thinkers deeply concerned with aesthetic experience and personalist modes of learning: the twentieth-century educator and literary theorist, Louise Rosenblatt, and the modernist prose writer and poet, H.D. The 'transactional literary experience' is a phrase at the heart of Rosenblatt's humanistic philosophy, while H.D. is a figure who devoted her life to articulating the personal experience of being in quest. While literary theory in the past twenty years or so has turned its attention to re-exploring the nature of the human, the role of affect, and the centrality of ethics, this thesis contributes to these fields by foregrounding the pedagogical potential at the heart of them. My approach is to adopt a personalist framework for reading H.D. and Rosenblatt as thinkers who intersect productively by drawing upon romantic, modernist, and existential ideas, tropes, and commitments. Embracing Rosenblatt's entire oeuvre and unpublished materials, and H.D.'s autobiographical and later quest poetry and prose, the thesis models a personalist approach to literary study by actively developing potential connections between the two thinkers. Chapter 1 lays the groundwork by theorising Rosenblatt's and H.D.'s emphasis on the individual and her experience. Chapter 2 constructs a theory of what I term 'personalist textual sociability', which denotes a mode of context building especially suited to the personal nature of the transactional literary experience. Chapter 3 explores the centrality of literary imagination for fostering personal connections across time and space, both within the literary experience, and in the wider world among real people, and the role of the individual who seeks to communicate their vision of human flourishing to others. Finally, Chapter 4 folds the insights of the first three chapters into an exploration of what it means to be in quest of wisdom, where wisdom is characterised as an inherently existential and personal quality.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available