Artefacts of Writing: Ideas of the State and Communities of Letters from Matthew Arnold to Xu Bing by Peter D. McdonaldArtefacts of Writing: Ideas of the State and Communities of Letters from Matthew Arnold to Xu Bing by Peter D. Mcdonald

Artefacts of Writing: Ideas of the State and Communities of Letters from Matthew Arnold to Xu Bing

byPeter D. Mcdonald

Hardcover | November 12, 2017

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Some forms of literature interfere with the workings of the literate brain, posing a challenge to readers of all kinds, including professional literary critics. In Artefacts of Writing, Peter D. McDonald argues they pose as much of a challenge to the way states conceptualise language, culture,and community. Drawing on a wealth of evidence, from Victorian scholarly disputes over the identity of the English language to the constitutional debates about its future in Ireland, India, and South Africa, and from the quarrels over the idea of culture within the League of Nations in the interwaryears to UNESCO's ongoing struggle to articulate a viable concept of diversity, McDonald brings together a large ensemble of legacy writers, including T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Rabindranath Tagore, putting them in dialogue with each other and with the policy-makers who shaped the formation ofmodern states and the history of internationalist thought from the 1860s to the 1940s. In the second part of the book, he reflects on the continuing evolution of these dialogues, showing how a varied array of more contemporary writers from Amit Chaudhuri, J. M. Coetzee, and Salman Rushdie to AntjieKrog, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, and Es'kia Mphahlele cast new light on a range of questions concerning education, literacy, human rights, translation, indigenous knowledge, and cultural diversity that have preoccupied UNESCO since 1945.At once a novel contribution to institutional and intellectual history and an innovative exercise in literary and philosophical analysis, Artefacts of Writing affords a unique perspective on literature's place at the centre of some of the most fraught, often lethal public controversies that definedthe long-twentieth century and that continue to haunt us today

About The Author

Peter D. McDonald was born in Cape Town in 1964 and educated in South Africa and England. He writes on literature, the modern state and the freedom of expression; the history of writing systems, cultural institutions and publishing; multilingualism, translation and interculturality; and on the limits of literary criticism. His publicat...
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Title:Artefacts of Writing: Ideas of the State and Communities of Letters from Matthew Arnold to Xu BingFormat:HardcoverDimensions:368 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:November 12, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198725159

ISBN - 13:9780198725152

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: 1867-19451. Oxford at the Crossroads: England and the world beyond2. T. S. Eliot vs. the League and UNESCO3. 'Independence, Dependence, and Interdependence Day': Finnegans Wake and the Modern StatePart 2: 1946-2014Prologue: The 'C' in UNESCO: A Very Short Introduction4. Notes toward a Vagabond Humanism: Mphahlele's Tagore/Rabindranath's Bauls5. Against State Literacy: J. M. Coetzee vs. the Novel6. Beyond Translation: Antjie Krog vs. the 'Mother Tongue'7. Against Naturalization: Arvind Krishna Mehrotra and the 'Interplay of Languages'8. Beyond Multiculturalism: Tagore . . . Joyce . . . Rushdie . . . ChaudhuriPostscript: Between Sky and Ground - The Art of Xu Bing