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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19237

Title: Towards a Poetics of Freedom: An Interpretive Analysis of Ricoeur and Dante
Authors: Sunkenberg, Jenna
Advisor: Valdes, Mario
Pietropaolo, Domenico
Department: Comparative Literature
Keywords: hermeneutics
Paul Ricoeur
Divine Commedy
Issue Date: 3-Mar-2010
Abstract: This thesis’ task is to reinterpret Paul Ricoeur’s philosophy of the will, hermeneutics, and study of metaphor from a perspective that speaks to what his early work conceptualized as a poetics of freedom. Poetics, for Ricoeur, becomes a mode of expression capable of representing and illuminating what he considers the essential paradox of our human condition: a will that is both free and bound, “set free as freedom and responsible in its very deliverance.” A poetics of freedom, Ricoeur conceptualized in the beginning of his career, would be a mediation through which we perceive a tensional reconciliation of our conflicted natures, “a linguistic register suitable for speaking of liberated freedom and liberated man in his existential concreteness and totality.” Ricoeur, however, never developed the poetics of freedom beyond its original conceptualization. Through an interpretive analysis of Ricoeur's work, I reorient his later works on metaphor and hermeneutics towards the concerns that dominated the philosophy of the will and the existential philosophy to which it belongs. This study of Ricoeur’s philosophy of being occurs in discourse with a poetic text, Dante’s Commedia. The Commedia, I argue, is a text whose poetry explicitly and implicitly discloses the importance of hermeneutics and poetics in the arrival at self-understanding. The correlations that arise between its aesthetic discourse and Ricoeur’s contemporary perspective illuminate what I consider to be at the core of the philosophy of being: a primordial tension of selfhood conceptualized in terms of the dialectical relations that arise between freedom and nature, between objectivity and subjectivity, and between perspective and meaning; or in Dante’s terms, between my life and la nostra vita (our life).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19237
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Centre for Comparative Literature - Doctoral theses

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