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Aristotle and Modernism : Aesthetic Affinities of T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Virginia Woolf (Hardcover)

Author: Rosenthal, Edna

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Aristotle and Modernism examines literary modernism in its relation to the history of criticism by analyzing the role of Aristotelian principles ??? primarily the notion of formal affectivism ??? in the critical writings of three modernists who have invariably been thought to uphold incompatible aesthetic beliefs. These three modernists are T.S. Eliot, Wallace Stevens, and Virginia Woolf. Whereas Eliot saw himself as a classicist modernist, Stevens and Woolf shared a marked anticlassicist stance. Despite their initially incompatible attitudes to literary history and criticism, this study discloses their convergence on the Aristotelian notion of formal affectivism, demonstrated through specific conceptual shifts. The main feature of the book is its originality of approach, which seeks a 'diachronic' solution to a 'synchronic' problem ??? the debate about the Modern, reflected in the claims and counterclaims made by the modernists themselves and by subsequent literary critics and theorists. This methodology was largely dictated by the nature of the subject ??? the adversarial critical orientation of three modernists who have never been studied as a group before, and the attempt to reconcile their differences by reconfiguring them in terms of the Aristotelian critical tradition. The author demonstrates conclusively how Eliot incorporated central Aristotelian dramatic principles into his view of literary history and criticism. Similarly, the author shows how both Stevens and Woolf, through historically determined conceptual shifts, endorsed and used formal affectivism and dramatic criteria. As may be expected, they almost never referred back to Aristotle or to his foremost modernist defender, Eliot.


Publisher Sussex Academic Pr
Mfg Part# 9781845191719
SKU 207681996
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 1845191714
Release Date 1/28/2013
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