The rise of literary theory spawned the rise of anti-aestheticism, so that even for cultural theorists, discussions concerning aesthetics were often carried out in a critical shorthand that failed to engage with the particularity of the work of art, much less the specificities of aesthetic experience. This book introduces the notion of a new aestheticism--"new" insofar as it identifies a turn taken by a number of important contemporary thinkers towards the idea that focussing on the specifically aesthetic impact of a work of art or literature has the potential to open radically different ways of thinking about identity, politics and culture.
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