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Fictions of Autonomy


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Table of Contents

Contents Series Editors' Foreword Acknowledgments Introduction An institutional approach Aesthetic autonomy in practice and in philosophy Thee fictions of autonomy and their themes Modernist studies and the expanded field Autonomy from Labor In Service to Art for Art's Sake from Wilde to Proust Aesthetic autonomy? Our servants will do that for us Wilde: the truth of masks with manners Huysmans: the decadent master-servant dialectic Henry James: the subtlety of service Proust: service in the magic circle Aestheticist self-consciousness Autonomy from the Person Impersonality and Lateness in Eliot and Adorno Adorno's theory of impersonality Eliot's late style, 1910-1958 Four Quartets and musical lateness The late style and the intentional fallacy Expatriation as Autonomy Djuna Barnes, James Joyce, and Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism Nightwood: the luminous deterioration of cosmopolitanism French nights and the artist's lifestyle Wandering Jews, wandering Americans "Vagaries Malicieux": losing all connection at the Deux Magots Stephen Dedalus's hat Literature without External Reference Tautology in Wallace Stevens and Paul de Man The aesthete is the aesthete The Academy of Fine Ideas: Stevens and de Man in the university De Man, modernism, and the correspondence theory The sound of autonomy The plain sense of tautology Epilogue: Autonomy Now Autonomy, literary study, and knowledge production Autonomy abroad: proliferation on the world stage The truth about fictions of autonomy Index

About the Author

Andrew Goldstone is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University.


"In this wonderfully surprising and original study, Andrew Goldstone recovers a consistent recourse in modernism to 'fictions of autonomy,' designed precisely to mediate relations between works of art and the social and political domains. Goldstone's procedure is not to rehearse all the old arguments for and against autonomy but to show us how the relative autonomy of art was experienced and figured in a broad range of works. The result is a rich new history of modernism, from which the concept of autonomy emerges as an abstraction blooded rather than bloodied." --John Guillory, author of Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation "Fictions of Autonomy develops a fresh and interesting argument about four different facets of aesthetic autonomy, fleshed out through reference to a wide range of literary and theoretical texts. The manuscript is always a pleasure to read, and the pairings of texts in individual chapters are persuasively accomplished." --Rita Felski, author of Uses of Literature "In recent decades--even despite the affirmative renaissance of modernist studies since the 1990s--'autonomy' has not seemed a redeemable idea; indeed it has seemed only an idea to demystify and dismiss. Fictions of Autonomy asks that we approach the concept with more intelligence; and it models that intelligence with no little brilliance and with remarkable ingenuity." --Robert L. Caserio, author of The Novel in England, 1900-1950: History and Theory "The author's thoughtful and important consideration of literary autonomy reopens a provocative conversation with new insight, and it is intelligently and articulately conveyed...Highly recommended." --Choice

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