The Event


The Event

Literature and Theory

Ilai Rowner

328 pages


January 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
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January 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

January 2015


$60.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

What is an event? From a philosophical perspective, events are irregular occurrences—moments of change and interruption—categorized by human perception, language, and thought. While philosophers have pored over the subject of events extensively in recent years, The Event: Literature and Theory seeks to ground it: What is literature’s approach to the event? How does literature produce and give testimony to events?
Ilai Rowner’s study not only revisits some of the most important thinkers of our time, including Maurice Blanchot, Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Derrida, and Martin Heidegger, it also develops a critical approach to literature that questions the meaning of the literary event through examinations of literary works by Marcel Proust, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, and T. S. Eliot.
Rowner offers a new method of thinking about the particular characteristics of the event within literary works and defines the creative value of literature as the aspiration toward the un-happening within the happening. In this study the experience of literature—as an act of both writing and reading—becomes the struggle to capture the excessive movement of the event while also revealing the creative energy within that work of literature.


Author Bio

Ilai Rowner is an adjunct lecturer of French and comparative literature at Tel Aviv University.


"A promising debut, Rowner's book reminds us that modern literature, far from supporting the modern ideal of human autonomy, sometimes challenges its very possibility."—Thomas Pavel, French Studies

"The Event challenges readers to disappear into unknown regions of literature. Rowner asks that we, scholars and students of literary theory as well as lovers of literature, reconsider the very idea of what happens. For that which does not happen might actually be the event."—Dane Stalcup, Studies in 20th and 21st Century Literature

“Rowner’s book is a considerable ‘event.’ Written with great precision but also highly readable, this work offers an example of what contemporary interdisciplinary theory can produce at its best; its accessibility should draw a considerable number of readers from different fields of human and social sciences.”—Julia Kristeva, author of Stranger to Ourselves

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Historical Event, Narrative Event, Literary Event
2. INTERMEZZO: The Cave in Homer’s Odyssey and the Café in Marguerite Duras’s Moderato Cantabile
Part One: Theory
3. Martin Heidegger: The Event of Appropriation
4. Maurice Blanchot: The Event of Dying
5. Jacques Derrida: The Non-Advent of the Event
6. Gilles Deleuze: The Becoming of the Event
Part Two: Literature
7. Toward a Theory of Literary Events: Conceptions and Principles
8. AIR RAID ONE: Marcel Proust’s Time Regained
9. Writing Corporeally: A Vital Move
10. AIR RAID TWO: Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s Fable for Another Time
11. AIR RAID THREE: T. S. Eliot’s “Little Gidding” from Four Quartets
12. Conclusion: Being Is in the Hands of the Event

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