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On Literary Worlds$
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Eric Hayot

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199926695

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199926695.001.0001

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The Empty Quadrant

The Empty Quadrant

(p.173) Chapter 12 The Empty Quadrant
On Literary Worlds

Eric Hayot

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the possibility of a fourth quadrant in the matrix defining the modal responses to any dominant world-view. That empty square, which would be the paradoxical site of an acceptance of the world and a refusal of the world-question, would be there where the work attempted to escape the demand to meditate on or even recognize the terms of representation, while nonetheless continuing to represent the world as such. The aesthetic that comes most readily to mind for the mode in the empty quadrant is Roland Barthes's “neutral,” whose relation to both politics and the aesthetic attempts to negate the demand that the work take a position in relation to the field of its appearance.

Keywords:   matrix, world-view, world-concept, modal response, aesthetic

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