In Modernist Fiction and Vagueness, Megan Quigley establishes the historical connections between vague language in the works of Henry James, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, and T.S. Eliot and the philosophical problem of vagueness in early twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. She argues that these literary modernists saw vagueness not as a problem, but as a fundamental aspect of experience. They rejected philosophical attempts to create logically precise languages because logical precision fails to capture the complexity of concepts and experience. Quigley thus orients modernist aesthetics toward practical concerns: modernists sought to represent the vagueness of reality rather than simply detaching themselves from the real world. Quigley advocates "Fuzzy Studies" as a way to counteract recent empirical methods in literary criticism that tend to problematize vagueness.


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pp. 190-195
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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