Everyone admits that some works of literature are profoundly insightful. Yet literary theorists have found it difficult to build upon this foundation. Their primary reservation was that to regard literature as yielding knowledge drives readers away from the complex responses created by powerful works. “Philosophical Criticism” — an approach to literature introduced in this volume — aims to defuse this tension. Philosophical criticism is an attunement to the synergy between the understanding literature enables and the unique experiences it induces.
Justice is this book's overarching category. Philosophical readings of works by Dante, Shakespeare, Morrison, Coetzee, and Roth will argue that their value as literature is partly constituted by advancing our grasp of justice. Literature is not philosophy; but it may expose a distinction between compassion and pity, reveal a relationship between unfairness and withheld solidarity, or show how moral commitments – to impartiality, to mercy – sometimes rely upon a more fundamental evasion.
By way of attempting to explain comic pleasure, this paper proposes an outline for an inclusive theory of comedy -- 'inclusive' in the sense of amalgamating various past contributions that tend to be thought of as mutually exclusive. More specifically, this essay will (a) propose a teleological definition of comedy, (b) integrate seemingly competing accounts of laughter into a relatively unified explanation, (c) clarify the connection between laughter and comedy, (d) defend a flexible ontology of comic response that enables the coexistence of genuinely competing paradigms of the mind (which, in turn, underlie seemingly competing theories of comic reception), and (e) will suggest how comic pleasure forms an indispensable addition to a theory of comedy.
Zamir, Tzachi. “Pornography and Acting”. Pornographic Art and the Aesthetics of Pornography. Ed. H Maes. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2013. 75-99. Print.
An essay on dramatic acting with regards to unethical conduct on stage is presented. It explores how acting provokes ethical questions despite being viewed as an unproblematic and laudable art form. It charts the nature and scope of ethical issues in which the actor operates and discusses two responses to the questions. The author suggests that value-related ambiguity can be a way through which the uniqueness of acting as a performing art can be understood.
The article examines centrality of voice to acting, the relation of voice to existential amplification and the role of actor's voice in seven dimensions of the relationship between character and thought. It is stated that striking, memorable acting is bound with effects created by modifications in the actor's voice. Royal Shakespeare Company voice trainer Cicely Berry stated that young actors shun intense work on their voices since it threatens the performer with artificiality and loss of self.
Zamir, Tzachi. “Philosophy”. The Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare. Ed. Arthur F Kinney. Oxford, England: Oxford UP, 2012. 623-640. Print.
Zamir, Tzachi. “Reading Drama”. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 70.2 (2012): , 70, 2, 179-192. Print.
The essay discusses moral dimensions of literary descriptions of animals. Topics covered include literary presentations of slaughter, of humans looking at animals (and vice versa), and of forms of attachment between humans and companion animals. Throughout, the essay aims to connect the portrayal of animals in literature with ongoing work in aesthetics on the moral contributions of literary works.