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5 Remote Warehouse Literary Criticism- General

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Art's Undoing: In the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism

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Art's Undoing: In the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Radical aestheticism describes a recurring event in some of the most powerful and resonating texts of nineteenth-century British literature, offering us the best way to reckon with what takes place at certain moments in texts by Shelley, Keats, Dickinson, Hopkins, Rossetti, and Wilde. This book explores what happens when these writers, deeply committed to certain versions of ethics, politics, or theology, nonetheless produce an encounter with a radical aestheticism which subjects the authors' projects to a fundamental crisis.

A radical aestheticism offers no positive claims for art, whether on ethical or political grounds or on aesthetic grounds, as in "art for art's sake." It provides no transcendent or underlying ground for art's validation. In this sense, a radical aestheticism is the experience of a poesis that exerts so much pressure on the claims and workings of the aesthetic that it becomes a kind of black hole out of which no illumination is possible. The radical aestheticism encountered in these writers, in its very extremity, takes us to the constitutive elements--the figures, the images, the semblances--that are at the root of any aestheticism, an encounter registered as evaporation, combustion, or undoing. It is, therefore, an undoing by and of art and aesthetic experience, one that leaves this important literary tradition in its wake.

Art's Undoing embraces diverse theoretical projects, from Walter Benjamin to Jacques Derrida. These become something of a parallel text to its literary readings, revealing how some of the most significant theoretical and philosophical projects of our time remain within the wake of a radical aestheticism.

About the Author

Forest Pyle is Professor of English at the University of Oregon. He is the author of The Ideology of Imagination: Subject and Society in the Discourse of Romanticism.

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction: "From Which One Turns Away

Aestheticism and Its Radicality, The Insistence of the Aesthetic, "Our Romantic Movement," Scene of Shipwreck

1. "A Light More Dread Than Obscurity": Spelling and Kindling in Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Frail Spells," "Wholly Political," Kindling and Ash, "A Shape All Light"

2. "I Hold It Towards You": Keats's Weakness

"Consumed in the Fire," Weakness, Threats, "On He Flared"

3. What the Zeros Taught: Emily Dickinson, Event-Machine

"The Plunge from the Front," "A Word Dropped": The Dickinsonian Event-Machine, "A System of Aesthetics," "Bright Impossibility"

4. Hopkins's Sighs

"Let Him Oh! With His Air of Angels Then Lift Me, Lay Me!" Hopkins's Breathturns, "The Fire of Stress," "The Fire That Breaks,"

5. Superficiality: What Is Loving and What Is Dead in Dante Gabriel Rossetti

On the Surface. . . , "One Face Looks Out," "A Blunder of Taste"; or, What Would Clement Greenberg Say? "Love Is Addressed to the Semblance"; or, What Would Jacques Lacan Say? The Promises of Glass,

6. "Rings, Pearls, and All": Wilde's Extravagance

The Soul of Man Under Aestheticism, Christ the Romantic, Christ the Dandy, The Cost of a Kiss, Covered with Jewels

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780823251124
Author:
Pyle, Forest
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Subject:
General Literary Criticism & Collections
Subject:
Literature/English | British Literature | Literary Criticism
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Publication Date:
20131131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
328
Dimensions:
6 x 9 x 1 in 1 lb

Related Subjects

Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Art's Undoing: In the Wake of a Radical Aestheticism New Trade Paper
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