The Fetish Literature, Cinema, Visual Art

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-09-07
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Object fetishism is becoming a more and more pervasive phenomenon. Focusing on literature and the visual arts, including cinema, this book identifies a series of patterns that combine historical perspective with a theoretical underpinning. These include patterns of seduction, the object as a site for memorial, and the trope of the animation of the inanimate.

If all these patterns are dominated by a projection of emotional values onto objects, modernism highlights on the other hand a more latent and opposite component: the fascination with the alterity of matter, which awakes thorny gnoseological questions, variously developed by Proust, Woolf, Joyce, Barnes, and Mann. Finally, the last turning point is postmodernism, focusing on the icons of mass media, ranging from DeLillo's epic, maximalist fresco Underworld, to Zadie Smith's reflections on autographs and Palahniuk's representations of porn objects, from pop art to commodity sculpture.

Author Biography

Massimo Fusillo is Professor of Literary Theory and Comparative at the University of L'Aquila, Italy, where he is Coordinator of the PhD Program on Literary Genres. In 2013 he was Fulbright Visiting Professor at Northwestern University, USA. He is the President of the Italian Association of Theory and Comparative History of Literature.

Table of Contents

Preface: Creativity Is In the Details
Introduction: The Object, the Fetish
1. The Object of Seduction
2. The Memorial Object: Between Wound and Catharsis
3. The Magic Object: Animating the Inanimate
4. Creating a World: The Mythopoetic Power of Objects
5. The Theatralization of the Fetish Object
6. The Alterity of Matter
7. The Icon Object

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