The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature

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Overview

Fascination with quotidian experience in modern art, literature, and philosophy promotes ecstatic forms of reflection on the very structure of the everyday world. Gosetti-Ferencei examines the ways in which modern art and literature enable a study of how we experience quotidian life. She shows that modernism, while exhibiting many strands of development, can be understood by investigating how its attentions to perception and expectation, to the common quality of things, or to childhood play gives way to experiences of ecstasis—the stepping outside of the ordinary familiarity of the world.

While phenomenology grounds this study (through Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Bachelard), what makes this book more than a treatise on phenomenological aesthetics is the way in which modernity itself is examined in its relation to the quotidian. Through the works of artists and writers such as Benjamin, Cézanne, Frost, Klee, Newman, Pollock, Ponge, Proust, Rilke, Robbe-Grillet, Rothko, Sartre, and Twombly, the world of quotidian life can be seen to harbor a latent ecstasis. The breakdown of the quotidian through and after modernism then becomes an urgent question for understanding art and literature in its capacity to further human experience, and it points to the limits of phenomenological explications of the everyday.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Lucidly and elegantly written, this is a significant contribution to phenomenology and literary/cultural theory alike.”

—M. V. Marder, Choice

From the Publisher

“Lucidly and elegantly written, this is a significant contribution to phenomenology and literary/cultural theory alike.”

—M. V. Marder, Choice

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271032283
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 2/11/2010
  • Series: Literature and Philosophy
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Fordham University and a Clarendon Scholar at the University of Oxford.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. The Quotidian and Literary-Phenomenological Departures from Everydayness

2. Sources of Ecstasis in Childhood Experience

3. Literary Phenomenology from the Natural Attitude to Recognition

4. The Mysterious and Poetry of the World’s Inner Horizons

5. The Painterly and the Poetic Image Between Rilke and Cézanne

6. The Silent Ecstasis of Vision

7. Ecstatic Mimesis in Trompe l’oeil

Epilogue

References

Index

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