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Mood and Trope: The Rhetoric and Poetics of Affect
by John Brenkman
University of Chicago Press, 2020
Cloth: 978-0-226-67312-7 | Paper: 978-0-226-67326-4 | eISBN: 978-0-226-67343-1
Library of Congress Classification PN56.E6B74 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 809.93353

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
In Mood and Trope, John Brenkman introduces two provocative propositions to affect theory: that human emotion is intimately connected to persuasion and figurative language; and that literature, especially poetry, lends precision to studying affect because it resides there not in speaking about feelings, but in the way of speaking itself.
 
Engaging a quartet of modern philosophers—Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Deleuze—Brenkman explores how they all approach the question of affect primarily through literature and art. He draws on the differences and dialogues among them, arguing that the vocation of criticism is incapable of systematicity and instead must be attuned to the singularity and plurality of literary and artistic creations. In addition, he confronts these four philosophers and their essential concepts with a wide array of authors and artists, including Pinter and Poe, Baudelaire, Jorie Graham and Li-Young Lee, Shakespeare, Tino Sehgal, and Francis Bacon. Filled with surprising insights, Mood and Trope provides a rich archive for rethinking the nature of affect and its aesthetic and rhetorical stakes.

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