The Empty Quadrant

Eric Hayot

in On Literary Worlds

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926695
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980499 | DOI:
The Empty Quadrant

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This chapter considers the possibility of a fourth quadrant in the matrix defining the modal responses to any dominant world-view. That empty square, which would be the paradoxical site of an acceptance of the world and a refusal of the world-question, would be there where the work attempted to escape the demand to meditate on or even recognize the terms of representation, while nonetheless continuing to represent the world as such. The aesthetic that comes most readily to mind for the mode in the empty quadrant is Roland Barthes's “neutral,” whose relation to both politics and the aesthetic attempts to negate the demand that the work take a position in relation to the field of its appearance.

Keywords: matrix; world-view; world-concept; modal response; aesthetic

Chapter.  836 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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