Hayot’s talk began with the proposition that the way literary critics describe how to read literature does not resemble how they actually read it. Why? Because, Hayot suggested, critics have mostly adopted a Romantic theory of what literature is that borrows from elements in the work of Immanuel Kant’s Third Critique. Hayot proposed a redescription of what literature would be, if it were the thing that critics treated it as. This had the interesting consequence of producing a redescription, also, of the nature of human beings.
This event was co-hosted with Ertegun House.