Character by Marjorie Garber audiobook

Character: The History of a Cultural Obsession

By Marjorie Garber
Read by Pamela Almand

12/Twelve, Blackstone Publishing 9780374120856

Unabridged

Format : Library CD (In Stock)
  • Available on 05/25/2021

    ISBN: 9781094178660

  • Available on 05/25/2021

    ISBN: 9781094178653

  • ISBN: 9781094178677

Runtime: 16.46 Hours
Category: Nonfiction/Philosophy
Audience: Adult
Language: English

Summary

Summary

A spirited, engaging investigation into the concept of character, an enduring human obsession in literature, psychology, politics, and everyday life

What is “character”? How can it be measured, developed, or built? Are character traits fixed or changeable? Is character innate, or can it be taught?

Since Aristotle’s Poetics, philosophers, moralists, artists, and scientists have engaged with the enigma of human character. In its oldest usage, “character” derives from a word for engraving or stamping, yet over time, it has come to mean a moral idea, a type, a literary persona, and a physical or physiological manifestation, observable in works of art or in scientific experiments. It is an ingredient in drama and the focus of self-help books.

As Marjorie Garber explores in Character, character seems more relevant than ever—the term is omnipresent in discussions of politics, sexuality, ethics, morality, and the psyche. But it seems to carry an unusually wide range of meanings, some disconcertingly at odds with others.

Why are “character flaws” of such great interest today, whether in political campaigns, personal relationships, or the biographies (and autobiographies) of famous people, living and dead? What does “character,” in this moral or ethical sense, have to do with the concept of a character in a novel or a play? Are our notions about fictional characters in fact helping to produce our ideas about moral character?

The question of “character” arises in virtually every area of modern life. And in every case, there is the same fundamental tension: between something regarded as innate or intrinsic to the individual, and something that can be taught or copied. With characteristic verve, humor, and vast erudition, Garber explores the stakes of these conflations, confusions, and heritages, from Aristotle and Shakespeare to the present preoccupation with “character issues,” “character assassination,” and the “character flaws” of public figures.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“An intriguing and informative look at the concept of personal character…[This] information-rich book will be helpful to readers in highlighting how a concern with character has been central to modern life.” Publishers Weekly
“Garber finds that character is a bewilderingly slippery abstraction that has endured and evolved…Garber wonders if the concept is so hollowed out by misuse that it should be retired, but in the end, she views character as a mirror reflecting the contradictions that define human nature.” Booklist
“Erudite, illuminating…A capacious overview of an enduring human value.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Marjorie Garber

Author Bio: Marjorie Garber

Marjorie Garber is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English and of Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University. She is the author of several books on Shakespeare, including Shakespeare’s Ghost Writers and Shakespeare after All, as well as of books on cultural topics ranging from dogs and real estate to cross-dressing, bisexuality, the use and abuse of literature, and the place of the arts in academic life. A member of the American Philosophical Society, she was the recipient of a 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : CD, Library CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/Philosophy
Runtime: 16.46
Audience: Adult
Language: English