Author(s): Kenneth Asher
Recently there has been a renewed interest in the ethical value of literature. However, how exactly does literature contribute to our ethical understanding? In Literature, Ethics, and the Emotions, Kenneth Asher argues that literary scholars should locate this question in the long and various history of moral philosophy. On the basis of his own reading of this history, Asher contends for the centrality of emotions in our ethical lives and shows how literature - novels, poetry, and drama - can each contribute to crucial emotional understanding. Individual chapters on T. S. Eliot, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, and George Bernard Shaw give detailed analyses of how this contribution takes shape even in modernist authors who try to reconfigure the very nature of the self.