Art for Art's Sake and Literary Life: How Politics and Markets Helped Shape the Ideology and Culture of Aestheticism, 1790-1990

Art for Art's Sake and Literary Life: How Politics and Markets Helped Shape the Ideology and Culture of Aestheticism, 1790-1990

by Gene H. Bell-Villada, Michael Holquist, Warren Motte
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"Lucid and learned. . . . much more than an exercise in retrieval, although it is splendid on this account alone, Bell-Villada has also joined debates about the Latin American novel, deconstructionism, and post-modernism, offering what is always in short supply: a wide-angled, historical, and penetrating perspective."-Russell Jacoby. "Professor Bell-Villada has

Overview

"Lucid and learned. . . . much more than an exercise in retrieval, although it is splendid on this account alone, Bell-Villada has also joined debates about the Latin American novel, deconstructionism, and post-modernism, offering what is always in short supply: a wide-angled, historical, and penetrating perspective."-Russell Jacoby. "Professor Bell-Villada has rendered an incomparable service to those probing the sources of the modern aesthetic . . . I have found his book so wide-ranging and inclusive that I would recommend it enthusiastically."-Dore Ashton. "A wide-ranging, erudite, well-written study with a refreshing disdain for doctrine."-Publishers Weekly. Art for Art's Sake and Literary Life is a history of literary aestheticism from the eighteenth century to modern deconstruction. Gene H. Bell-Villada examines writings by critics, philosophers, and other writers from Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Uniting all is his conviction that "there are concrete social, economic, political, and cultural reasons for the emergence, growth, diffusion, and triumph of l'art pour l'art over the past two centuries." Gene A. Bell-Villada is a professor and chair in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Williams College. He is the author of Borges and His Fiction, Garcia Márquez: The Man and His Work, and The Carlos Chadwick Mystery: A Novel of College Life and Political Terror.

Editorial Reviews

Russell Jacoby
"Lucid and learned. . . . much more than an exercise in retrieval, although it is splendid on this account alone, Bell-Villada has also joined debates about the Latin American novel, deconstructionism, and post-modernism, offering what is always in short supply: a wide-angled, historical, and penetrating perspective."—Russell Jacoby
Dore Ashton
"Professor Bell-Villada has rendered an incomparable service to those probing the sources of the modern aesthetic . . . I have found his book so wide-ranging and inclusive that I would recommend it enthusiastically."—Dore Ashton
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his lucid, humane history, Bell-Villada, professor of Romance languages and literatures at Williams College and author of Garca Mrquez: The Man and His Work, describes the history of l'art pour l'art, the notion that beauty, divorced from utility and morality, is a desirable end in itself. He traces the idea from (mis)readings of Kant and Schiller through Thophile Gautier, Walter Pater, Edgar Allen Poe and Latin American Modernismo to the New Critics and Paul de Man. Some of this genealogy has been investigated before, but Bell-Villada brings both a readable style and a wide knowledge of literature, social influences, politics and markets to his story. The invention of paint tubes and prefabricated canvases in the first half of the 19th century and the academicization of criticism and literary life in the middle of this one share space with a thorough reconsideration of Joyce's presumed aestheticism. The general reader will find succinct background material on all the germane people, concepts and contexts. There are some peculiarities: Bell-Villada goes far out of his way just to apply a rather lame market analogy to Modernism, and his bilious analysis of Nabokov's work is likely to raise some hackles. But overall, this is a wide-ranging, erudite, well-written study with a refreshing disdain for doctrine. (May)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803212602
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
03/28/1996
Series:
Stages Series
Pages:
340
Product dimensions:
5.61(w) x 9.35(h) x 1.32(d)
Lexile:
1590L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Gene A. Bell-Villada is a professor and chair in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures at Williams College. He is the author of Borges and His Fiction, Garcia Márquez: The Man and His Work, and The Carlos Chadwick Mystery: A Novel of College Life and Political Terror.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >