The Ecstatic Quotidian: Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $25.94
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 13%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $25.94   
  • New (2) from $31.36   
  • Used (2) from $25.94   


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.

Read More Show Less

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

“The basic idea behind this marvelous book is simple: contrast the ordinary and what defines escape from the ordinary, call that ecstasy. This idea is used to yield wonderfully challenging results. This virtuoso performance, erudite and very smart, is a book I wish I had written.”
—David Carrier, Case Western Reserve University

The Ecstatic Quotidian is a scholarly, detailed overview of the places where modernist art and phenomenology intersect. It is an excellent resource for those who want to understand the ways in which modernist art and philosophy are indebted to one another. By engaging philosophy, literature, and visual art into such a productive dialogue with one another, the author succeeds in placing some of our basic assumptions about these forms and their differences into question as well.”
—K. Gover, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

“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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents




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




Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)