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Modernist Fiction and Sensorial Aesthetics
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0115-4995
2014 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Viktor Shlovsky wrote almost hundred years ago that there is art that makes one “recover the sensation of life”. His famous remark “to make the stone stony” refers, in my mind, to the very concept of a sensorial aesthetic; objects should be described as they are sensed not as they are perceived. Modernist novels occupy an ambiguous space between being mono-medial and multi-modal, acting as both self-referencing works of art and, at the same time, evidently referring to and being inspired by other media such as cinematography and music. Studies of modernist fiction, and its relation to the sensorial modalities vision and sound, are numerous and convincing, especially in concordance with modernity and technology (Danius 2002; Jacobs 2001; Kern 1983; Kundu 2008); discussions on the remaining sensorial modalities, smell, taste and pressure, are scarcer. In this paper I will investigate modernist fiction in the light of a sensorial aesthetic that (a) relates to text as sensorial rather than as perceptive, e.g. the production of sensorial perception in readers rather than perception inherently already being part of literary discourse, and (b) focuses mainly on smell, taste and the auditive. Rather than investigating why modernism, in particular, accentuated sensorial modalities, my paper is concerned with aesthetic strategies and emotive reception. This investigation will, apart from sketching some general historical and theoretical outlines, mainly discuss examples from texts by Malcolm Lowry, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner, in order to convincingly establish a relation between modernist fiction and sensorial aesthetics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
Keyword [en]
Modernism, senses, perception, Lowry, style
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-36755OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-36755DiVA: diva2:743971
Conference
Modernism Now! BAMS International Conference. Senate House, London, July 26-28 2014
Available from: 2014-09-05 Created: 2014-09-05 Last updated: 2014-12-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf