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Marginal ModernityThe Aesthetics of Dependency from Kierkegaard to Joyce$
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Leonardo Lisi

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823245321

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823245321.001.0001

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(p.xvi) (p.1) Introduction
Marginal Modernity

Leonardo F. Lisi

Fordham University Press

The Introduction argues that aesthetic analysis of literary works is concerned with the organization of form and content components of a work as a whole rather than those components themselves. It furthermore shows that two ways of understanding modernist aesthetics in this sense dominate the contemporary scholarship: the aesthetics of autonomy, associated with the self-sufficient work of art, and the aesthetics of fragmentation, practiced by the avant-gardes. Insofar as aesthetic structures are responses to historical and artistic transformations, however, these two models cannot be treated as exhaustive of modernist form. The Introduction lays the ground for tracing a different aesthetic structure, one developed at the periphery of European culture, in Scandinavia, rather than at its core. This alternative aesthetic structure formulates the principle according to which a work must be organized in terms incompatible with that work's own representational and thematic structures, thereby making the purposeful relation of its parts depend on an interpretative perspective not coextensive with the logic of those parts themselves.

Keywords:   Aesthetics, European modernism, Core/Periphery, Aesthetics of dependency

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