Stathis Gourgouris. Does Literature Think? Literature as Theory for an Antimythical Era. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2003. [Book review]
journal contributionposted on 17.05.2017 by Dimitris Vardoulakis
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Does Literature Think? is a difficult book, but it is also a rewarding and exciting book. Each of the ten chapters is researched meticulously and written authoritatively. One has the impression that the author has spent a lot of time thinking about this material. Thus future authors working on the same topics will have to contend with Does Literature Think? In addition, the essays offer unexpected insights delivered in a personal style that is not unconcerned with imparting the pleasures of reading. This would come as no surprise to those who know Gourgouris as an important Greek poet. Nor would the high quality of this volume surprise anyone familiar with his previous book in English, Dream Nation: Enlightenment, Colonization and the Institution of Modern Greece (1996). While the two books do share similar concerns and a common theoretical outlook, the breadth and scope of Does Literature Think? is broader and more ambitious. Where the constant referent of Dream Nation is specifically Greek literature and culture, Does Literature Think? is genuinely comparative, dealing not only with texts from the Greek, but equally with those from the German, the French, and the American canons.