Beyond the Modern

Eric Hayot

in On Literary Worlds

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926695
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980499 | DOI:
Beyond the Modern

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This chapter argues that the structuro-logical description of a series of basic responses to a given assertion—affirmation/conceptualization, creation/destruction, negation/refusal, the neutral—describes responses to any historically normative world-view. This suggests that for any given social whole or spatio-temporal extension, one could describe a pattern of relations following the basic modal structure. In such a social whole, Realism would refer, as it does in the modern world-view, to the affirmation and conceptualization of the normative, socially dominant position; Romanticism to attempts to revise or rewrite it from inside its fundamental ontological premises; and Modernism to the negation of those premises and the radical imagination of life beyond “world.” In any one of these situations, what we now call “realism”—that is, the style that corresponds most closely to the normative Realism of the modern period, to which it lends a name—could easily be relegated to a second- or third-rate position in the production of the aesthetic diegesis.

Keywords: Realism; Romanticism; Modernism; world-view; aesthetic diegesis

Chapter.  2019 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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