Fictions of Autonomy: Modernism from Wilde to de Man by Andrew Goldstone

Fictions of Autonomy: Modernism from Wilde to de Man

byAndrew Goldstone

Hardcover | January 23, 2013

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No aspect of modernist literature has attracted more passionate defenses, or more furious denunciations, than its affinity for the idea of autonomy. A belief in art as a law unto itself is central to the work of many writers from the late nineteenth century to the present. But is this beliefjust a way of denying art's social contexts, its roots in the lives of its creators, its political and ethical obligations?Fictions of Autonomy argues that the concept of autonomy is, on the contrary, essential for understanding modernism historically. Disputing the prevailing skepticism about autonomy, Andrew Goldstone shows that the pursuit of relative independence within society is modernism's distinctive way ofrelating to its contexts. Goldstone examines an expansive modernist field in fiction, poetry, and theory - Oscar Wilde, J.-K. Huysmans, Henry James, Marcel Proust, T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, Wallace Stevens, Djuna Barnes, Theodor Adorno, Paul de Man - in order to reveal an ever-shifting preoccupationwith autonomy. Drawing on Bourdieu's sociology, formalist reading, and historical contextualization, this book demonstrates the importance of autonomy to modernist themes as varied as domestic service, artistic aging, expat life, and non-referentiality.Nothing less than an argument for a wholesale revision of the assumptions of modernist studies, Fictions of Autonomy is also an intervention in literary theory. This book shows why anyone interested in literary history, the sociology of culture, and aesthetics needs to take account of the social,stylistic, and political significance of the problem, and the potential, of autonomy.

About The Author

Andrew Goldstone is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University.

Details & Specs

Title:Fictions of Autonomy: Modernism from Wilde to de ManFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 23, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199861129

ISBN - 13:9780199861125

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Table of Contents

Series Editors' ForewordAcknowledgmentsIntroductionAn institutional approachAesthetic autonomy in practice and in philosophyThee fictions of autonomy and their themesModernist studies and the expanded fieldAutonomy from LaborIn Service to Art for Art's Sake from Wilde to ProustAesthetic autonomy? Our servants will do that for usWilde: the truth of masks with mannersHuysmans: the decadent master-servant dialecticHenry James: the subtlety of serviceProust: service in the magic circleAestheticist self-consciousnessAutonomy from the PersonImpersonality and Lateness in Eliot and AdornoAdorno's theory of impersonalityEliot's late style, 1910-1958Four Quartets and musical latenessThe late style and the intentional fallacyExpatriation as AutonomyDjuna Barnes, James Joyce, and Aesthetic CosmopolitanismNightwood: the luminous deterioration of cosmopolitanismFrench nights and the artist's lifestyleWandering Jews, wandering Americans"Vagaries Malicieux": losing all connection at the Deux MagotsStephen Dedalus's hatLiterature without External ReferenceTautology in Wallace Stevens and Paul de ManThe aesthete is the aestheteThe Academy of Fine Ideas: Stevens and de Man in the universityDe Man, modernism, and the correspondence theoryThe sound of autonomyThe plain sense of tautologyEpilogue: Autonomy NowAutonomy, literary study, and knowledge productionAutonomy abroad: proliferation on the world stageThe truth about fictions of autonomyIndex