The Creation of Reality: Consciousness in Cinema, Fiction, & Poetry
ORDERS WILL SHIP BEGINNING MID-OCTOBER 2019
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Release date: October 2019
Author: Phillip D. Grayson
The Creation of Reality boldly details the ways that our relationships with literature shape our understanding of the world around us, the others that inhabit it, and the ethical obligations we have to them all. In a series of compounding analyses, exemplary works of cinema (Spike Jonze’s Her), poetry (John Ashbery’s “Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror”), and fiction (Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and Bleeding Edge) are examined in order to explore the ways that they interact with the most fundamental elements of human consciousness. Drawing on recent advances in neuroscience and philosophy, Grayson proposes that the unreal, almost spectral, consciousnesses we perceive in fictional beings allow us to interact with the real and the unreal simultaneously, experiencing not only the fictive minds of characters, but also the compound, composing, and projecting mind of what he calls the "authorial consciousness."
The undeniable reality and the irreducible complexity of this authorial consciousness confronts us with a highly intimate experience of the other, and carries with it all the ethical responsibilities attached to that relationship: the thrill, joy, and horror of something real. This new work serves as a valuable contribution to discussions within studies of literature, consciousness, and philosophy.
About the author:
Phillip D. Grayson is an Assistant Professor of English at Tennessee State University and the World Literature Editor of the Watchung Review. In works touching on everything from medieval theology to film theory, Grayson has explored the nature of our relationships with fictional beings, and the ways that these relationships shape our lives. In addition to The Creation of Reality, his work on American literature has appeared in the journals Transatlantica, Modern Horizons, and the Humanities Review, and in the edited collection: Edgar Allan Poe and Psychology. He is on twitter @PhillipDGrayso1 and online with attheedgeofevening.wordpress.com.