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American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions$
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Cindy Weinstein and Christopher Looby

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231156172

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231156172.001.0001

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Aesthetics Beyond the Actual

Aesthetics Beyond the Actual

The Marble Faun and Romantic Sociality

(p.117) [5] Aesthetics Beyond the Actual
American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions

Christopher Castiglia

Columbia University Press

This chapter focuses on Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Marble Faun in order to delineate how the novel's dense network of friendship becomes a vehicle for Hawthorne to imagine a romanticism that “enhance[s] the possibilities for inventive intimacies.” By drawing the connections between Hawthorne's biography (the love letters between him and his “ideal reader,” Herman Melville), Friedrich von Schiller's concept of aesthetic as “something akin to the Ideal,” and the novel's idealization of the aesthetic in the chapter “An Aesthetic Company,” the discussion unfolds the means by which “the transformative play of aesthetic imagination opens up a space of negotiative and compensatory intimacy”.

Keywords:   Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Marble Faun, romanticism, social aesthetics, Friedrich von Schiller, aesthetic space

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