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Powers of PossibilityExperimental American Writing since the 1960s$
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Alex Houen

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199609291

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609291.001.0001

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Conclusion

Conclusion

Potentialism and Practical Imagination

Chapter:
(p.241) Conclusion
Source:
Powers of Possibility
Author(s):

Alex Houen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199609291.003.0007

Each of the potentialisms outlined in the book's chapters are largely aimed at producing a performativity of affect. That performativity is intended to build what we can call ‘practical imagination’. The Conclusion begins by detailing how potentialism, as a novel concept of literary practice, sheds new light on literary affect, literary performativity, and how they relate. Returning to the notion of individual capacities as potentials (see Introduction), discussion then turns to how practical imagination can build and modify a person's capacities to affect, and be affected by, language, people, and situations. Consideration is given to how the concept of potentialism does not designate a previously undiscovered literary movement. The Conclusion closes by outlining limitations in ascribing potentialism to literary texts in other periods.

Keywords:   affects, performativity, potentiality, power, possible worlds, genre, suspension, capacities, avant‐garde

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