ISBN 10: 1472592352 / ISBN 13: 9781472592354
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Inhaltsangabe: Through a unique combination of theoretical scope and material, and historical, breadth The Hermeneutics of Suspicion poses an original investigation into our understanding of alterity in Indian literature and history, and significantly contributes to an emerging discourse on East-West literary relations.

Hans Georg Gadamer s notion of hermeneutical consciousness seeks to open up a cultural context through which to engage the other. It stands in opposition to the hermeneutics of suspicion advocated by recent popular theories, such as colonial discourse analysis, multiculturalism, postcolonial theory, the critique of globalism, etc. In his late work, Paul Ricoeur charts a middle path between the hermeneutics of suspicion and a hermeneutical consciousness that addresses the ontological and ethical categories of otherness. His approach reflects concerns voiced elsewhere, particularly in the historiography of Michel de Certeau and the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas. This volume follows the path proposed by Ricoeur and, alongside Certeau and Levinas, provides an examination of varying representations of the Indian Other in classical Greek and Sanskrit sources, the writings of Church Fathers, apocryphal literature, the Romance tradition, Portuguese and Italian travel narratives and Jesuit mission letters.

In the various texts examined, the problems of translation are highlighted together with the sense that understanding can be found somewhere between the different approaches of hermeneutical consciousness and critical consciousness. This book not only looks at the European reception of the Indian other, but also looks at the ancient Indian view of its others and the cross-pollination of Indian concepts of otherness with the West.

Rezension: Dorothy Figueira has written a magisterial account of Western encounters with India, and presented not only a fascinating story -- with unforgettable characters, some mythical and semi-historical, like Prester John; some historical eminences like Christopher Columbus, Vasco de Gama and Camoens; others, like Ludovico de Varthema and Pietro della Valle, who deserve to be better known -- but an instructive lesson that Europe did not truly know itself until it encountered the mage and reality of an Indian Other. The book is theoretically informed, and philologically detailed, and one is grateful for a guide who is not only genial, but deeply knowledgeable and well-informed.
- Eugene Eoyang, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Indiana University, USA

Literary comparatist Dorothy Figueira studied under some of the most penetrating critical minds of the 20th-century in the humanities and social sciences: Claude Lévi-Strauss, Paul Ricoeur, Hans-Georg Gadamer and Wendy Doniger. This book, her fourth with India as a central focus, is a superb contribution to cross-cultural studies. In lucid, engaging and always intelligent prose, she analyzes important issues of alterity in the cross-cultural space between India and the West, with commentary on figures as iconic and different as Homer, St. Augustine, Prester John, Columbus and Camoens. Her work also reaches beyond India and the West to interrogate and call into question much current critical theory and the sometimes assumed infallibility of our own 21st-century interpretations and reconstructions of other cultures, epochs and encounters -- . - Michael Palencia-Roth, Emeritus Professor of Comparative & World Literature, Spanish and Latin American Studies, University of Illinois, USA

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