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Modernism and Coherence

Four Chapters of a Negative Aesthetics

Fabio Akcelrud Durão

Modernism and Coherence is an attempt to develop a negative aesthetics conceived as determinate resistance of artworks against the meaning assigned to them by criticism. From the accumulation of arguments on great texts of modernism, the book describes gestures of refusal that generate figures of negativity: Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory becomes a whirlpool revolving around a center refusing predication; Wallace Stevens’ poetry exhibits a phonetic escape valve against the pressure of reality; Robert Frost writes a poem that is ahead of you in both senses of the expression; and James Joyce’s Ulysses reads its readers in waves of self-folding. This book is an effort to salvage literature as something in itself in a world that increasingly can only see what is for the other.
Contents: Negative aesthetics – Negative poetics – Theory – Close reading – Frankfurt School – Anglo-American modernism – Capitalism.