Stanley Cavell's American Dream: Shakespeare, Philosophy, and Hollywood Movies

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Fordham Univ Press, 2006 - 248 pages
This book explores Cavell's writings along converging lines of thought rather than in isolated categories. The author claims that, after Cavell's celebrated reading of King Lear turned into a nightmarish meditation on Vietnam, he found a more audible voice. Noting that Cavell's keen ear for the expressive power of ordinary language makes him both a first-rate literary artist and a compelling philosopher of the everyday, he catches what holds Cavell's manifold interests together. Here the poetry of ideas and presence of mind that animate Cavell's writing receive readings attuned to the spirit of their composition and its enlivening powers.

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Contents

Beyond Adaptation
1
Meeting Places
24
On Bloom and Cavell on Shakespeare
60
From Skepticism to Perfectionism
83
From Cyprus to Rushmore
105
Reading Cavell Reading The Winters Tale
136
Cavells Rome
172
Notes
211
Index
241
Copyright

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Page 53 - And for the usual method of teaching arts, I deem it to be an old error of universities, not yet well recovered from the scholastic grossness of barbarous ages, that instead of beginning with arts most easy (and those be such as are most obvious to the sense), they present their young unmatriculated novices at first coming with the most intellective abstractions of logic and metaphysics...
Page 120 - It is very unhappy, but too late to be helped, the discovery we have made, that we exist. That discovery is called the Fall of Man. Ever afterwards, we suspect our instruments.
Page 158 - A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do Nothing but that ; move still, still so, and own No other function. Each your doing, So singular in each particular, Crowns what you are doing in the present...
Page 194 - We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organs of its activity. When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing of ourselves, but allow a passage to its beams.
Page 92 - These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.
Page 179 - ... forever, Free as an Arab Of thy beloved. Cling with life to the maid; But when the surprise, First vague shadow of surmise Flits across her bosom young, Of a joy apart from thee, Free be she, fancy-free; Nor thou detain her vesture's hem, Nor the palest rose she flung From her summer diadem. Though thou loved her as thyself, As a self of purer clay, Though her parting dims the day, Stealing grace from all alive; Heartily know, When half-gods go. The gods arrive.
Page 93 - Well, most men have bound their eyes with one or another handkerchief, and attached themselves to some one of these communities of opinion. This conformity makes them not false in a few particulars, authors of a few lies, but false in all particulars.

About the author (2006)


Lawrence F. Rhu is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of The Genesis of Tasso's Narrative Theory: English Translations of the Early Poetics and a Comparative Study of Their Significance.

Stanley Cavell is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Harvard University. His recent publications include A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises; Philosophical Passages: Wittgenstein, Emerson, Austin, and Derrida; Cities of Words: Pedagogical Letters on a Register of the Moral Life and Emerson's Transcendental Etudes.

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