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Aesthetics of Negativity$
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William S. Allen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823269280

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823269280.001.0001

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Abstract and Concrete Modernity

Abstract and Concrete Modernity

(p.1) Introduction: Abstract and Concrete Modernity
Aesthetics of Negativity

William S. Allen

Fordham University Press

The style of Blanchot’s writing can be understood by examining the changes that take place between the two versions of Thomas l’Obscur, where the later version appears to be more abstract. Doing so brings out the relation between fiction and everyday language in terms of the purported concreteness of the latter, which leads to the question of how creative language negotiates the relation between its materiality and its autonomy, a tension found in the thought of Lefebvre and the Surrealists. This opens up the issue of the nature of literature in modernity given its proximity to the prosaic, which is given dialectical form in Adorno’s thinking as the relation between the artwork and the commodity.

Keywords:   abstraction, commodity, concreteness, modernity, prose

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