"Novelty, Modernity, Adjacency" engages the culture of Modernism as a provocation to our theoretical understanding of context. The essay recovers the history of literary a-contextualism and re-contextualism (from the utopianism of the Word to that of the Relation); it addresses the unstable play between absorption and distraction; and it offers a theoretical account of the problem of context in the philosophy of language, as it is appears in the work of Russell, Austin, Wittgenstein, and Davidson. The argument suggests that we break free from images of container and content in order to grasp the more indeterminate play of "adjacencies" that allow us to assimilate the New.


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