This interdisciplinary study explores the relationship between play and mimesis in the constitution and dissolution of the individual and social self. The volume is divided into three sections, the first of which focuses on the mimetic-ludic foundations of mind, memory, and desire; the second on the social and psychological self as agent of playful performance and product of cultural codes; and the third on the interplay of psyche, image, and power in literary and artistic representations of the self. The subjects of the individual studies vary widely, from the interrelation of power and play in Orlando Furioso to the ludic foundations of cognition to the concept of the self in Foucault and Deleuze.
At the University of Georgia Ronald Bogue is Professor and Head of the Comparative Literature Department and Mihai I. Spariosu is Professor of Comparative Literature.
"The book covers extraordinary ground in literature, the arts, philosophy, and even the social sciences. The concern about the issue of self and the representations of self brings far-reaching ideas together in the most surprising and mutually illuminating ways. Poststructuralist and postmodernist critiques of self-identity have made the topic controversial and broadly relevant to all the fields represented. Extreme statements abound on both sides of the argument, and this book succeeds in marshaling subtle and nuanced thought on the topic. Each essay is neatly self-contained, remarkably relevant to other essays in the collection, and a model of illuminating argument, careful scholarship, and attractive writing." — William J. Kennedy, Cornell University