By Rachel Greenwald Smith
Rachel Greenwald Smith's impact and American Literature within the Age of Neoliberalism examines the connection among American literature and politics within the 20th- and twenty-first centuries. Smith contends that the illustration of feelings in modern fiction emphasizes the private lives of characters at a time whilst there's an extraordinary, and sometimes destructive, specialize in the person in American existence. via readings of works by means of Paul Auster, Karen Tei Yamashita, Ben Marcus, Lydia Millet, and others who degree experiments within the courting among feeling and shape, Smith argues for the centrality of a counter-tradition in modern literature occupied with impersonal emotions: emotions that problem the neoliberal concept that feelings are the valuables of the self.
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Extra resources for Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism
Such beliefs, for instance, provide the very foundation for neoliberal policies aimed at privatizing previously public or collectively administered institutions under the assumption that if such institutions are already understood to best function like corporations they are most effectively run by corporations. Such innovations are traditionally understood to be value-neutral: they change how an institution is run but not what it produces. But crucially, the Contract model does not lead to a value-neutral approach to the question of form.
30 Personal and Impersonal 31 James wrote his essay at a pivotal moment between the golden age of realism and the advent of modernism. For him, any friction that exists between the effort to produce “the illusion of life,” associated with the former era, and the emphasis on formal novelty, associated with the latter age, is productive, not divisive. Novelty, difficulty, and experimentation, in James’s view, are crucial to literary efforts to reflect human experience; without them, what is achieved is not the vibrant feeling of life transmitted in prose but a tired, mechanical repetition of commonplaces and clichés.
Emotion is endowed with political significance only insofar as there are clearly articulated individual people – albeit people influenced heavily by their sociopolitical climates – to do the feeling; and only insofar there are feelings that can be named, isolated, and traced historically through their cultural representations. The most significant critique from within recent literary studies of this methodology is Sianne Ngai’s foundational work, Ugly Feelings. . ”61 Because tone resides primarily in the art object itself, attention to tone places critical focus on the objective aspects of feeling.
Affect and American Literature in the Age of Neoliberalism by Rachel Greenwald Smith