Terrible Beauty: The Violent Aesthetic and Twentieth-Century Literature - Cultural Frames, Framing Culture (Paperback)Marian Eide (author)
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The ""violent aesthetic""-a category the author traces back to Plato and Nietzsche-accommodates the pleasure people take not only in destruction itself but also in its rendering. As readers, we oscillate between a fascination with atrocity and an ethical imperative to bear witness. Arguing for the immersive experience of literature as particularly conducive to ethical contemplation, Marian Eide plumbs the aesthetic power and ethical purpose of this creative tension. By invoking the reader as complicit-both stricken witness and enthralled voyeur- Terrible Beauty sheds new light on the relationship between violence, literature, and the moral burdens of art.
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Number of pages: 336
Dimensions: 229 x 152 mm
"A fearless and absorbing meditation on the relationship between literary art, violence, and ethics in the century of Ypres, Jallianwala Bagh, Auschwitz, and apartheid."--Paul K. Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania, author of Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form
In Terrible Beauty, Marian Eide provides a wide-ranging and often beautiful analysis of the central paradoxes around the place of violence in 20th century literature. There is no getting away from the conundrum she rigorously exposes, that to produce art out of violence is a troubling proposition, implicating readers as well as writers. Considering works that span from World War One to the present, and across Europe, Asia, and Africa, Eide digs deeply into the ethical and aesthetic dilemmas around representing violence. Her readings are probing and thoughtful, guided by the seriousness of her topic. Terrible Beauty leaves its reader saddened and sickened by the endless sequence of awful events envisioned in these literary works, but also inspired by the way they stake their moral claim on getting it right. Eide is an ethical reader, and a powerful exponent of an array of diverse, compelling works of literature from around the world.--Sarah Cole, Columbia University, author of At the Violet Hour: Modernism and Violence in England and Ireland