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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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Beyond the Modern

Beyond the Modern

(p.189) Chapter 15 Beyond the Modern
On Literary Worlds

Eric Hayot

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that the structuro-logical description of a series of basic responses to a given assertion—affirmation/conceptualization, creation/destruction, negation/refusal, the neutral—describes responses to any historically normative world-view. This suggests that for any given social whole or spatio-temporal extension, one could describe a pattern of relations following the basic modal structure. In such a social whole, Realism would refer, as it does in the modern world-view, to the affirmation and conceptualization of the normative, socially dominant position; Romanticism to attempts to revise or rewrite it from inside its fundamental ontological premises; and Modernism to the negation of those premises and the radical imagination of life beyond “world.” In any one of these situations, what we now call “realism”—that is, the style that corresponds most closely to the normative Realism of the modern period, to which it lends a name—could easily be relegated to a second- or third-rate position in the production of the aesthetic diegesis.

Keywords:   Realism, Romanticism, Modernism, world-view, aesthetic diegesis

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