Abstract

In “The Marxist Sublime,” Terry Eagleton argues that capitalist rationality has diminished the human ability to experience the aesthetic as bodily sensuousness. He advocates a Marxist reorganization of society as a means of reactivating the body’s receptivity to pleasure by claiming that a “revolution in thought” might enable an existence defined by the omnipresence of aesthetic experience. Willa Cather’s The Professor’s House poses a significant challenge to such an idea. Through the novel’s embedded narrative, “Tom Outland’s Story,” Cather complicates the idealization of aesthetic life by demonstrating that the experience of loss is the structural heart of aesthetic response.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 52-63
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-11
Open Access
No
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