Phenomenology and Cultural Difference in High Modernism
Born at the intersection of literary analysis and cultural history, the present book collects evidence in support of the idea that, far from being decadent, in the sense of perverse pursuit of gratuitous refinement and aesthetic relief from historical apathy, the art at the turn of the twentieth century was energised by a desire for meaningful form, grounded in current epistemology, especially of the science maîtresse of the time, psychology, and other kindred disciplines – psychological phenomenology and phenomenological existentialism.
The circle of influencers has been broadened to include figures of the latter half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth, such as Washington Allston, H. L. Mansel, Wilhelm Wundt, Alexander Bain, Alfred Binet, Alfred Adler, and Sándor Ferenczi, whose shadows are shown to be looming behind modernist texts by T. S. Eliot, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Thomas Wolfe, Wallace Stevens, T. E. Hulme, Flann O’Brien, Mircea Eliade, amongst others.
A less-discussed subject, literary genre in modernism, is redefined in light of psychology-based modernist aesthetics.
Maria-Ana Tupan is Habilitated Professor of Literary Theory and History, affiliated with the Doctoral School of Alba Iulia University, Romania. She holds a master’s degree in British and German Literature from Bucharest University and a PhD in Philology from the Romanian Academy. In 1994-1995 she was affiliated with Penn State University as Senior Fulbright grantee. She is a member of the Romanian Writers’ Union and of several international academic societies. She has received several awards as literary critic and translator. Her relevant titles include: The Shakespearean Search for Archetypes: The Mirror and the Signet; The Key to Change. Interdisciplinary Essays in Cultural History; The Kantian Legacy of Late Modernity; Realismul magic; Relativism-Relativity: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on a Modern Concept. Modernismul si psihologia. Încercare de epistemologie literara/ Modernism and Psychology. An Inquiry into the Epistemology of Literary Modernism; Genre and Postmodernism.
"Taking New Historicism as the framework for formulating her scholarly analysis, Tupan manages to develop a timely and innovative contribution to modernist criticism. The book represents the author’s endeavour to create both an inter- and multidisciplinary analysis of important modernist figures, thus opening new avenues for interpreting and understanding modernism as an artistic and cultural movement. Her study opens a broader perspective on epistemic resources and discursive bearings, thereby joining both critics of different persuasions and researchers of distinct disciplines in an effort to reach a more diverse and comprehensive understanding of modernism."
Corina Mitrulescu Assistant Professor, Academia Forțelor Terestre Nicolae Bălcescu, Romania
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