From the first stirrings of modernism to contemporary poetics, the modernist aesthetic project could be described as a form of phenomenological reduction that attempts to return to the invisible and unsayable foundations of human perception and expression, prior to objective points of view and scientific notions. It is this aspect of modernism that this book brings to the fore. The essays presented here bring into focus the contemporary face of ongoing debates about phenomenology and modernism. The contributors forcefully underline the intertwining of modernism and phenomenology and the extent to which the latter offers a clue to the former.
The book presents the viewpoints of a range of internationally distinguished critics and scholars, with diverse but closely related essays covering a wide range of fields, including literature, architecture, philosophy and musicology. The collection addresses critical questions regarding the relationship between phenomenology and modernism, with reference to thinkers such as Edmund Husserl, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger, Michel Henry and Paul Ricoeur. By examining the contemporary philosophical debates, this cross-disciplinary body of research reveals the pervasive and far-reaching influence of phenomenology, which emerges as a heuristic method to articulate modernist aesthetic concerns.