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Speculative Formalism: Literature, Theory, and the Critical Present
by Tom Eyers
Northwestern University Press, 2017
Cloth: 978-0-8101-3431-7 | Paper: 978-0-8101-3430-0 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-3432-4
Library of Congress Classification PN98.F6E96 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 801.95

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ABOUT THIS BOOK
Speculative Formalism engages decisively in recent debates in the literary humanities around form and formalism, making the case for a new, nonmimetic and antihistoricist theory of literary reference. Where formalism has often been accused of sealing texts within themselves, Eyers demonstrates instead how a renewed, speculative formalism can illuminate the particular ways in which literature actively opens onto history, politics, and nature, in a connective movement that puts formal impasses to creative use.
 
Through a combination of philosophical reflection and close rhetorical readings, Eyers explores the possibilities and limits of deconstructive approaches to the literary, the impact of the “digital humanities” on theory, and the prospects for a formalist approach to “world literature.” The book includes sustained close readings of Baudelaire, Mallarmé, Yeats, and Wallace Stevens, as well as Alain Badiou, Paul de Man, and Fredric Jameson.

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