Speculative formalism : literature, theory, and the critical present
- Tom Eyers.
- Evanston, Illinois : Northwestern University Press, 2017.
- Copyright notice
- Physical description
- x, 245 pages ; 23 cm.
- Eyers, Tom, author.
- Includes bibliographical references (pages 227-239) and index.
- Clearing the ground : new digital positivisms, the fate of literary theory, and the stakes of a "speculative formalism"
- Francis Ponge, Jean Cavailles, and the vexed relation between word and world
- Alain Badiou, Wallace Stevens, and the paradoxical productivity of poetic form
- Paul de Man's poetic materialism
- Language poetry, psychoanalysis, and the formal negotiation of history and time.
- Publisher's summary
Speculative Formalism proposes a new theory of form and formalization, with particular reference to literature. Tom Eyers claims that literature works not through any kind of reflection or mimesis, nor through any overrunning of literary forms by their historical contexts or determinants. Rather, he argues that literary texts, insofar as they are able to at least partially break free from their prior determinants and refigure those determinants anew, embody a formal speculative capacity that prevents their final absorption or neutralization by those prior conditions, even as the result may well be stasis or immobility rather than, say, contestation or critique. This capacity will be shown to be as enabling of a transport outward from literature's seemingly sealed bounds of form and formalism as methods are more regularly assumed to ignore just such a transport, sealing literary language within itself. Speculative Formalism, as a theory of literary form in particular, will identify a shared incompletion across both literary language and its various outsides-materiality, history, politics, nature-that, far from preventing literature from interfacing with those outsides, rather makes such a nonmimetic reference possible, in a connective movement that puts impasses to creative use.
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- Publication date
- Copyright date
- 9780810134317 (hardcover ; alkaline paper)
- 0810134314 (hardcover ; alkaline paper)
- 9780810134300 (paperback ; alkaline paper)
- 0810134306 (paperback ; alkaline paper)
- 9780810134324 (electronic book)
- 0810134322 (electronic book)
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