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American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions - Columbia Scholarship Online
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American Literature's Aesthetic Dimensions

Cindy Weinstein and Christopher Looby


Rethinking the category of aesthetics in light of recent developments in literary theory and social criticism, this book showcases the interpretive possibilities available to those who bring politics, culture, ideology, and conceptions of identity into their critiques. Chapters combine close readings of individual works and authors with more theoretical discussions of aesthetic theory and its relation to American literature. The introduction argues that aesthetics never left American literary critique. Instead, it casts the current “return to aesthetics” as the natural consequence of shortcomi ... More

Keywords: aesthetics, aesthetic theory, American literature, Henry James, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Stephen Crane, Constance Fenimore Woolson, Earl Lind, The Carpenters

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780231156172
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231156172.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cindy Weinstein, editor
California Institute of Technology

Christopher Looby, editor

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Cindy Weinstein and Christopher Looby

[Part 1] Aesthetics and the Politics of Freedom

[Part 2] Aesthetics and the Representation of Sexuality

[5] Aesthetics Beyond the Actual

Christopher Castiglia

[Part 3] Aesthetics and the Reading of Form

[9] When Is Now?

Cindy Weinstein

[11] What Maggie Knew

Jonathan Freedman

[Part 4] Aesthetics and the Question of Theory

[13] Warped Conjunctions

Nancy Bentley

[15] Postwar Pastoral

Mary Esteve


Charles Altieri

End Matter