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 Volume 17/1, includes forum "Narrative Selves"
 January 2019

 Volume 16/2, includes forum on Monika Fludernik's Towards a 'Natural' Narratology
 June 2018

 Volume 16/1 includes forum "Modernity and Mobility: Victorian Women Traveling"
 January 2018

 Volume 15/2
 June 2017

 Volume 15/1: includes forum "Audionarratology"
 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum "Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas"
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum "Comics and the Canon"
 June 2015

 Volume 13/1: includes forum "TheGhetto as a Victorian Text"
 January 2015

 Volume 12/2: includes forum "The Novel and Theories of Love"
 June 2014

 Volume 12/1
 January 2014

 Volume 11/2: includes forum "Translating Philip Roth"
 June 2013

 Volume 11/1
 January 2013

 Volume 10/2: includes forum "Bildung and the State"
 June 2012

 Volume 10/1: includes forum "Fernando Pessoa and the Issue of Heteronymy
 January 2012

 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

 Volume 8/2: British Women Writers
 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum "The Ethics of Temporality"
 January 2010

 Volume 7/2: Eyewitness Narratives
 June 2009

 Volume 7/1
 January 2009

 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
 June 2008

 Volume 6/1
 January 2008

 Volume 5/2
 June 2007

 Volume 5/1
 January 2007

 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

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 January 2006

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 June 2004

 Volume 2/1
 January 2004

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 January 2003

 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Response Essay
 Monika Fludernik

 Experience, Affect, and Literary Lists
 Eva von Contzen

 Posthuman Narration as a Test Bed for Experientiality
 Marco Caracciolo

 The Curse of Realism
 Karin Kukkonen

 More than Minds
 Jonas Grethlein

 Toward the Non-Natural
 Maria Mäkelä

 Two Conceptions of Experientiality and Narrativity
 Dan Shen

 Against Nature
 Brian McHale

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Updated Up To 26/06/2018
Volume 2, Number 2 (June 2004) : 1-25
On Being Too Deeply Loved

Tzachi Zamir
Rubric A: Then and Now

Abstract
This reading of Othello offers an explanation of Othello's own reasons for withdrawing from love through the distinctly murderous route he chooses. I read Othello as cooperating with, and perhaps even using, Iago in order to work himself out of love. In this he is responding to a multi-dimensional attack, which is how he experiences Desdemona's "too deep" love. The play is thus gradually building up a spectacle of Liebestod: once in Desdemona's annihilating love, twice in Othello murdering her--dying "upon a kiss." More generally, this essay considers the competing claims of the ideology of erotic merging on the one hand and the ideal of developing a clearly bounded self on the other. I argue that a “moral negotiation” with a work of literature (Othello) can create a fruitful confrontation with this familiar tension. The rewards for such criticism are both moral and literary: moral, since literature facilitates modes of moral reflection that cannot be activated by employing non-literary moral reflection; literary, because a moral dialogue with literary texts is not only possible but also aesthetically enriching. On the theoretical front, this essay thus continues what has been called “the literary turn” in moral philosophy, which supplements the work of other philosophers of literature by highlighting the capacity of the literary work to form a critique of an embedded ideology (in my reading, a prevalent erotic ideology). Finally, I relate ethical criticism to the current debate over cultural studies and the anxieties associated with the disappearance of the literary. I argue that taking an “ethical turn” enables literary criticism to claim an important distinctiveness in contrast to other modalities of cultural critique.
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