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Modernism’s Other Work – The Art Object’s Political Life - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Modernism’s Other Work: The Art Object’s Political Life

Lisa Siraganian


This book challenges deeply held critical beliefs about the meaning—in particular the political meaning—of modernism’s commitment to the work of art as an object detached from the world. Ranging over works of poetry, fiction, painting, sculpture, and film, it argues that modernism’s core aesthetic problem—the artwork’s status as an object, and a subject’s relation to it—poses fundamental questions of agency, freedom, and politics. These political questions have always been modernism’s critical work, even when writers such as Gertrude Stein, Wyndham Lewis, and William Gaddis boldly assert the a ... More

Keywords: modernism, 20th-century literature, American literature, art object, painting, poetry, spectatorship, readers, political liberalism, autonomy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780199796557
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199796557.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Lisa Siraganian, author
Southern Methodist University