By Andrew Eastham

because the improvement of British Aestheticism within the 1870s, the idea that of irony has concentrated a sequence of anxieties that are critical to fashionable literary perform. studying the most very important debates in post-Romantic aesthetics via hugely centred textual readings of authors from Walter Pater and Henry James to Samuel Beckett and Alan Hollinghurst, this learn investigates the dialectical place of irony in Aestheticism and its twentieth-century afterlives.

Aesthetic Afterlives constructs a far-reaching theoretical narrative by way of positioning Victorian Aestheticism because the foundation of Literary Modernity. Aestheticism’s cultivation of irony and reflexive detachment used to be important to this legacy, however it used to be additionally the focal point of its personal self-critique. Anxieties in regards to the suggestion and perform of irony endured via Modernism, and feature lately been located in Hollinghurst’s paintings as a symptom of the political stasis inside post-modern tradition. relating the hot debates concerning the ‘new aestheticism’ and the politics of aesthetics, Eastham asks how a utopian Aestheticism might be reconstructed from the problematics of irony and aesthetic autonomy that haunted writers from Pater to Adorno.

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Aesthetic Afterlives: Irony, Literary Modernity and the Ends of Beauty (Continuum Literary Studies) by Andrew Eastham


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