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Oxford University Press, USA

Spoiled Distinctions: Aesthetics and the Ordinary in French Modernism

Spoiled Distinctions: Aesthetics and the Ordinary in French Modernism

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Spoiled Distinctions investigates crises of evaluation in twentieth-century France. Taking Marcel Proust as its central figure, the book theorizes the disorienting force of everyday aesthetic experience. In a series of surprising readings, Hannah Freed-Thall frees Proust from his reputation as
the most refined of high modernists. The author of In Search of Lost Time appears here as a journalist and newspaper enthusiast, a literary ventriloquist and connoisseur of popular scandals, and a writer attentive to the unsophisticated phenomenology of the here and now.

The final chapters of the book consider the legacy of Proust's experiments with inestimable worth. Authors Francis Ponge, Nathalie Sarraute, and Yasmina Reza also explore the underside of cultural distinction. With Proust, they elaborate modernist variations on the beautiful and sublime--from nuance
to the whatever and from the awkward to the sickly-sweet. Spoiled Distinctions thus revitalizes the critical discourse on aesthetics. Mapping the intersection of phenomenology, aesthetic theory, and the sociology of culture, the book reveals how enchanting the ordinary can be.

Author: Hannah Freed-Thall
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Published: 05/01/2018
Pages: 224
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.83lbs
Size: 9.10h x 6.10w x 0.60d
ISBN: 9780190887391

About the Author

Hannah Freed-Thall is Assistant Professor of French Literature, Thought and Culture at New York University.

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