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articulation and realization of human energy’.10 Certainly such an aesthetic idealism does not seem to offer a fruitful avenue for enquiry. But does a more narrow conception of the aesthetic than that offered by new historicism necessarily entail such a vision of unity, lack of alienation and perfection? Part of the purpose of this essay is to suggest that this form of idealism was always an illusion, but that this does not mean that it can so easily be dismissed. Tellingly, in the narrative given in Practicing New Historicism, one of the main impulses behind the authors

in The new aestheticism
International man of stories

external forces and personal choice’.7 The combination of the material specificities of injustice and the spiritual apprehensions informing his world view – Zoroastrianism tinged with Platonism – at times lend Mistry’s writing a similar aspect to that of the dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn. There is the same tussle of pragmatism and idealism, the same preoccupation with the question of whether ‘environment determines consciousness’ or whether, as a character in Solzhenitsyn’s The First Circle insists: Man is invested from birth with a certain … essence. It is as

in Rohinton Mistry
Open Access (free)
The adolescent girl and the nation

narratives of self-making from its native sons. In its final scene Waldo, too, dies, though unlike Lyndall he returns to the farm before his death. Their deaths thus have different valencies. If Lyndall’s refusal to endure represents a protest which, however limited, the farmstead cannot countenance and must exclude, Waldo’s death in the bosom of the farm suggests that the reproduction of the society itself has become untenable. The colonial/adult world in which vindictive white men are dominant is a sterile place. It defeats aspirations, repels idealism; it offers no

in Stories of women
Open Access (free)
Sustainability, subject and necessity in Yann Martel’s Life of Pi

itself ’ (2012: 36). Intriguingly, both Sparrow, who attacks phenomenology from a range of perspectives, and Clark, who notes the weaknesses of its inherited forms, retain some interest in its possible future. For Sparrow, this would mean a return to Hegel’s ‘absolute idealism’, whereby ‘Phenomenology 234 Reading sustainability could transform idealism into a new variant of speculative realism, and thereby forge a subterranean portal to the things themselves’ (2014: 189). Clark considers ‘a new ecophenomenology’, referring to the work of David Wood, whose aim is to

in Literature and sustainability
Open Access (free)
Aesthetics, fragmentation and community

both is and is not System. . . . This same gesture, which is simply the writing of the fragment, consequently serves to subtract this fragment from the Work, within the continually renewed ambiguity of the small work of art, thus serving, in sum, to fragment the fragment . . . and in this respect it is legitimate to recognize in romanticism’s specificity a kind of persistence or resistance, within idealism, of at least an element of the Kantian notion of finitude.4 For the Jena Romantics who set out the first definitions of the Romantic fragment, the totality to be

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
The scientific world

’s preoccupations with the relation between the imagined and the real in his ‘Man with the Blue Guitar’.2 The second seems to be a deliberate reworking of Keats’s ‘“Beauty is truth, truth beauty”’. But in both instances the effect is to deflate a romantic idealism in which truth is consistently aesthetically pleasing, in favour of a more strenuous ‘seeing’ of ‘things as they are’. Although Thomas is both nostalgic and romantic in his tapping of history and his vision of an ideal, not to see that tendency in Thomas as working in conjunction with a strenuous realism and constant

in R. S. Thomas
Open Access (free)
An introduction

introduction to The Fate of Art and only then to refer to the political project of German Idealism and Romanticism,6 where the failure to reconcile art and politics remains a notorious trouble spot for those who would forge an aesthetic critique of modernity. In some ways the more rigorous term for this dilemma (and again it is one to which we will return below) is post-aestheticism. If the current volume allows room for a constructive difference of view on these and other issues, then it will partially have served its purpose. The essays collected here, then, reflect a

in The new aestheticism
Open Access (free)
Writing home in recent Irish memoirs and autobiographies (John McGahern’s Memoir, Hugo Hamilton’s The Speckled People, Seamus Deane’s Reading in the Dark and John Walsh’s The Falling Angels)

complexity of any autobiographical narrative that seeks to capture both the intensity of childhood feelings and the more circumspect nature of adult recollection. It is not surprising, therefore, that initially McGahern appears to invoke the romantic idealism of Wordsworth, for whom the child is father of the man: There are many such lanes all around where I live, and in certain rare moments over the years while walking in these lanes I have come into an extraordinary sense of security, a deep peace, in which I feel that I can live for ever. I suspect it is no more than

in Irish literature since 1990
Open Access (free)
Postcolonial women writers in a transnational frame

context suggests, Vera is concerned throughout The Stone Virgins heavily to qualify the valorised meanings of ‘independence’, ‘nation’, ‘land’, by plunging her characters without apparent explanation into horrifying situations of civil conflict and physical torture. Even the shreds of idealism that in the earlier novel clung to these terms are obliterated. The mutilated Nonceba, Thenjiwe’s younger sister, alone survives the agonies inflicted upon the community. For the rest, the expectations of independence, with which Mahlatini the store-owner fully identified, are

in Stories of women
The representation of violence in Northern Irish art

by Charles Harvey Brewster. Blight’s analysis argues that those who fought in the Civil War 9780719075636_4_017.qxd 16/2/09 302 9:30 AM Page 302 After words experienced conflicting emotions, running ‘from naïveté to mature realism, from romantic idealism to sheer terror, from self-pity to enduring devotion’.70 The specific line taken from Blight cites his observation that combatants often mask ugliness and horror when writing about war, not only as a self-protective measure, but also as a means of shielding loved ones from atrocity: ‘[s

in Irish literature since 1990