Bribes of Aesthetic Pleasure?
The Epilogue considers the broader political and interpretive implications of reading for consolation against the recent backdrop of intense methodological self-scrutiny in literary and cultural studies. It also examines the historical and sociocultural coordinates of the phenomenon of ‘discrepant solace’ this book has charted across borders of nation, genre, and style. With a meditation on Denise Riley’s Time Lived, Without Its Flow (2012), the Epilogue reflects on the metacritical ramifications of attending to how writers confront the challenges of living with and writing about emotional worlds that appear to evade articulation. This is a struggle for adequate representation that the book as a whole has tried to trace, one in which consolation’s affective and ethical contestability enters the dramatic precincts and formal textures of contemporary writing—in ways that require criticism to keep pace with what literature can do in situations that would seem to herald its inadequacy.
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