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Spoiled Distinctions – Aesthetics and the Ordinary in French Modernism - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Spoiled Distinctions: Aesthetics and the Ordinary in French Modernism

Hannah Freed-Thall


This book charts twentieth-century experiments in the aesthetics of the ordinary. The book argues that Proust and his literary and philosophical successors (Francis Ponge, Nathalie Sarraute, Yasmina Reza, Pierre Bourdieu, and Roland Barthes, among others) multiply strategies for reading and valuing the everyday. These authors explore the unsophisticated side of aesthetic experience. Alert to the ways in which the hunger for distinction shapes mundane acts of seeing and feeling, they strive to imagine less exclusive practices of art-making and of aesthetic perception. While Bourdieu defines “ta ... More

Keywords: aesthetics, modernism, ordinary, everyday, distinction, taste, beauty, Proust, Sarraute, Ponge

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780190201029
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190201029.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Hannah Freed-Thall, author
Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, Brown University

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{ Part 1 } Aesthetic Disorientation in Proust

{ Part 2 } Mid-Century Experiments