Gothic Romance

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By Paul Gilmore

Aesthetic Materialism: electrical energy and American Romanticism specializes in American romantic writers' makes an attempt to theorize aesthetic adventure during the language of electrical energy. according to clinical and technological advancements, so much particularly the telegraph, eighteenth- and nineteenth-century electric imagery mirrored the mysterious workings of the actual brain in addition to the doubtful, occasionally stunning connections among members. Writers corresponding to Whitman, Melville, and Douglass drew on photos of electrical energy and telegraphy to explain literature either because the manufactured from particular financial and social stipulations and as a way of transcending the person made up our minds by way of such stipulations. Aesthetic Materialism strikes among ancient and cultural research and shut textual analyzing, demanding readers to determine American literature as right now formal and ancient and as a fabricated from either aesthetic and fabric adventure.

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7 Most notably, in their famous account of the Affective Fallacy (1946), W. K. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley contend that “It may well be that the contemplation of this object, or pattern of emotive knowledge, which is the poem, is the ground for some ultimate emotional state which may be termed the aesthetic (some empathy, some synaesthesis, some objectified feeling of pleasure). It may well be. The belief is attractive; it may exalt our view of poetry. ”8 According to Wimsatt and Beardsley, criticism must concern itself with non-aesthetic phenomena, with the supposedly objective structures of literature, the formal features that transcend any specific reading or any particular historical moment.

Aesthetic Materialism Electricity and American Romanticism Paul Gilmore Stanford University Press Stanford, California � 2009 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University All rights reserved Parts of Chapter 3 were originally published in ATQ, Volume 16, No. 4, December 2002. Reprinted by permission of The University of Rhode Island. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system without the prior written permission of Stanford University Press.

Finds itself pulled nevertheless towards closed generalizing systems: finds itself materialism or a materialism. There is thus a tendency for any materialism . . to suppose that it is a system like others, of a presumptive explanatory kind . . 19 I want to suggest that one of the problems with various materialist critiques of aesthetics is that they tend to ground themselves in the laws of their own version of materiality, in a reduction of the determining factors to a series of findings drawn on the investigation of one structure, process, or element above all others.

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