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Literary Aesthetics: A Reader

Alan Singer (Editor), Allen Dunn (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-20868-6
376 pages
January 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
Literary Aesthetics: A Reader (0631208682) cover image


It is one of the ironies of contemporary literary study that as it has moved toward greater interdisciplinarity it has grown sceptical of the aesthetic. This anthology works to reassert the continuing relevance of the aesthetic and to reintegrate it into the widening repertoire of contemporary literary critical practices.
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Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction: What is Literary Aesthetics?:.

Part II: Community, Culture, Politics:.

Francis Hutcheson: Introduction.

From Francis Hutcheson: An Inquiry Concerning Beauty, Order, Harmony, Design: Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Peter Kivy.

Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury: Introduction.

From Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times: Anthony, Earl of Shaftesbury: Edited with Notes by John Robertson.

Karl Marx: Introduction.

From Karl Marx Frederick Engels: Collected Works.

From Karl Marx: Early Writings: Translated and Edited by T. B. Bottomore.

Georg Lukacs: Introduction.

From The Theory of the Novel, A Historic-Philosophical Novel on the Forms of Great Epic Literature: Translated by Anna Bostock.

Chapter 19: Gyorgy Lukacs: Art as Self-Consciousness in Man's Development, in Marxism and Art: Writings in Aesthetics and Criticism: Edited by Beryl Lang and Forrest Williams.

Walter Benjamin: Introduction.

'The Author as Producer' From Reflections: Essays, Aphorisms, Autobiographical Writings: Trans. Edmund Jephciott.

Herbert Marcuse: Introduction.

From The Aesthetic Dimension: Towards a Critique of Marxist Aesthetics: Herbert Marcuse.

Theodor W. Adorno: Introduction.

From Aesthetic Theory: Edited by Gretel Adorno and Rolf Tiedemann, Newly Translated, Edited by Robert Hullot-Kentor.

Hans Georg Gadamer: Introduction.

From The Relevance of the Beautiful and Other Essays: Edited by Robert Bernasconi, Trans. Nicholas Walker.

Louis Althusser: Introduction.

From Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays: Louis Althusser, Trans. Ben Brewster.

Fredric Jameson: Introduction.

From The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act: Fredric Jameson.

Part III: Beauty and Sublimity: .

Plotinus: Introduction.

From Ennead V (Eighth Tractate) 'On Intellectual Beauty.' Sections 1, 2, 3, 8, 13.

David Hume: Introduction.

From 'Of the Standard of Taste', in David Hume: Essays: Moral, Political and Literary: Edited by Eugene F. Miller.

Immanuel Kant: Introduction.

From Critique of Judgement: Trans. Werner S. Pluhar.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge: Introduction.

From Chapter 14, Definitions of a Poem and Poetry, in Biographia Literaria: Eds, James Engell and W. Jackson Bate.

Martin Heidegger: Introduction.

From 'The Origin of the Work of Art', in Poetry, Language, Thought: Martin Heidegger: Translations and Introductions by Albert Hofstadter.

Maurice Merleau-Ponty: Introduction.

From The Visible and the Invisible: Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

Longinus: Introduction.

From Chapters 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, and 9, in On the Sublime: Trans. T. S. Dorsch.

Jean-Francois Lyotard: Introduction.

From 'Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism?': in The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge: Trans., Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi.

Edmund Burke: Introduction.

From Inquiry into the Origins of the Beautiful and the Sublime.

Walter Pater: Introduction.

From The Renaissance: Studies in Art and Poetry.

Part IV: Truth, Value, Ethics: .

Giambattista Vico: Introduction.

From The New Science of Giambattista Vico: Trans. Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch.

Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten: Introduction.

From Reflections on Poetry: Trans. Karl Aschrenbrenner and William Holther.

Johann Georg Hamann: Introduction.

From Aesthetica in Nuce, in J. G. Hamann 1730-1788: A Study in Christian Existence. .

Plato: Introduction.

From The Symposium.

Friedrich Nietzsche: Introduction.

From Section 4, 'From the Soul of Artists and Writers', in Human, All Too Human: A Book For Free Spirits: Trans. Marion Faber with Stephen Lehmann.

Jacques Derrida: Introduction.

From The Truth in Painting: Trans, Geoff Bennington and Ian McLeod.

Jacques Lacan: Introduction.

From The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960: Edited by Jacques Alain Miller, Translated by Dennis Porter.

Rene Girard: Introduction.

From Introduction, 'To Double Business Bound' Essays on Literature, Mimesis and Anthropology.

Matthew Arnold: Introduction.

From 'On Poetry', in English Literature and Irish Politics: Edited by R. H. Super.

Johann Gottfried Herder: Introduction.

Ossian and the Songs of Ancient People.

Part V: Literary Formalism: .

Aristotle: Introduction.

'Poetics', from Aristotle's Politics and Poetics: Trans., Benjamin Jowett and Thomas Twining.

Monroe C. Beardsley: Introduction.

Aesthetics: Problems in the philosophy of criticism: Monroe C. Beardsley.

Benedetto Croce: Introduction.

'Aesthetics', article from fourteenth edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica: Benedetto Croce.

T. S. Eliot: Introduction.

'The Social Function of Poetry', in On Poetry and Poets: T. S. Eliot.

Roland Barthes: Introduction.

'What is Criticism?', in Critical Essays: Roland Barthes, Trans., Richard Howard.

Cleanth Brooks: Introduction.

'The Language of Paradox', in The Well Wrought Urn: Cleanth Brooks.

Gerard Genette: Introduction.

The Work of Art: Immanence and Transcendence: Gerard Genette, Trans., G. M. Goshgarian.

Victor Shklovsky: Introduction.

'Art as Technique', in Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays: Victor Shklovsky, Trans., Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis.

Part VI: Agency, Expression: .

Friedrich Schiller: Introduction.

'Letter XVI', in On the Aesthetic Education of Man: Friedrich Schiller.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Introduction.

'The Poet', in Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Ralph Waldo Emerson.

G. W. F. Hegel: Introduction.

'Division of the Subject', Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics: G. W. F. Hegel.

Friedrich Schlegel: Introduction.

Dialogue on Poetry and Literary Aphorisms: Friedrich Schlegel, Trans., Ernst Behler and Roman.

Kenneth Burke: Introduction.

'Literary Form', The Philosophy of Literary Form: Studies in Symbolic Action: Kenneth Burke.

Charles Altieri: Introduction.

Canons and Consequences: Reflections on the Ethical Force of Imaginative Ideals: Charles Altieri.

John Dewey: Introduction.

Art as Experience: John Dewey.

Ludwig Wittgenstein: Introduction.

'Lectures on Aesthetics', Lectures & Conversations on Aesthetics, Psychology and Religious Belief: Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Part VII: Gender: .

George Eliot: Introduction.

'Silly Novels by Women Novelists', in Selected Critical Writings:George Eliot, Edited by Rosemary Ashton.

Virginia Woolf: Introduction.

Virginia Woolf, in Women and Writing: Edited by Michele Barrett.

Aphra Behn: Introduction.

'Preface', in The Dutch Lover: Aphra Behn.

Julia Kristeva: Introduction.

From Revolution in the Poetic Language: Julia Kristeva.

Part VIII: Aesthetic/Anti-Aesthetic: Contemporary Debates:.

Tony Bennett: Introduction.

'Really Useless Knowledge', Outside Literature: Tony Bennet.

Jean-Luc Nancy: Introduction.

The Sense of the World: Jean-Luc Nancy, Trans. Jeffrey S. Librett.

Arthur C. Danto: Introduction.

Arthur C. Danto, 'Aesthetics and the Work of Art', Transfiguation of the Commonplace: Jean-Luc Nancy.

Pierre Bourdieu: Introduction.

Pierre Bourdieu, 'The Author's Point of View', The Rules of Art: Genesis and Structure of the Literary Field: Jean-Luc Nancy.

Paul de Man: Introduction.

The Resistance to Theory: Paul de Man.

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Author Information

Alan Singer teaches in the Department of English at Temple University, specialising in critical literary theory and film theory. His books include The Subject as Action (1993).

Allen Dunn is at the English Department at the University of Tennessee.

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Reasserts the continuing relevance of the aesthetic, reintegrating it into the widening repertoire of contemporary literary critical practices.
  • Spans classical sources of philosophical aesthetics to the most current accounts of the utility/value of the literary artwork in post-modern culture.
  • Organization of the text is designed to engage the reader in the shaping debates of literary aesthetic theory.

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"This volume can be strongly recommended as a first reader in aesthetics for interested students of literature." Reference Reviews <!--end-->
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