By Ewa Plonowska Ziarek
Ewa Ziarek totally articulates a feminist aesthetics, targeting the fight for freedom in women's literary and political modernism and the devastating effect of racist violence and sexism. She examines the contradiction among women's transformative literary and political practices and the oppressive realities of racist violence and sexism, and she or he situates those tensions in the entrenched competition among rebel and melancholia in experiences of modernity and in the friction among fabric accidents and experimental aesthetic varieties. Ziarek's political and aesthetic investigations predicament the exclusion and destruction of ladies in politics and literary creation and the transformation of this oppression into the inaugural chances of writing and motion. Her research is among the first to mix an in-depth engagement with philosophical aesthetics, particularly the paintings of Theodor W. Adorno, with women's literary modernism, rather the writing of Virginia Woolf and Nella Larsen, besides feminist theories at the politics of race and gender. by way of bringing doubtless apolitical, gender-neutral debates approximately modernism's experimental varieties including an research of violence and destroyed materialities, Ziarek demanding situations either the anti-aesthetic subordination of recent literature to its political makes use of and the appreciation of art's emancipatory strength on the fee of feminist and anti-racist political struggles.
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Additional info for Feminist Aesthetics and the Politics of Modernism (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)
In contrast, “materialist” writers characterize lifestyles both via instrumental social reforms or the buildup and circulate of recent commodities. As Woolf sardonically observes, the characters of Mr. Bennett, one of many materialist writers, “spend their time in a few softly padded ﬁrst-class railway carriage . . . and the future to which they trip so luxuriously turns into progressively more surely an eternity of bliss spent within the best possible inn in Brighton” (MN, 32). the main unique point of Woolf’s critique of commodity creation is her analysis of the specular position of femininity that compensates for alienation in capitalism. sooner than Irigaray’s recognized critique of the specular functionality of femininity, Woolf argues that femininity has been compelled to function the unacknowledged, reﬂective “mirror” aiding patriarchal narcissistic self-production: “women have served these kinds of centuries as looking-glasses owning the magic and scrumptious strength of reﬂecting the ﬁgure of guy at two times its ordinary measurement. with no that strength most likely 106 progressive praxis and its mel ancholic impasses the Earth might nonetheless be swamp and jungle. The glories of all our wars will be unknown” (RO, 35–36). In Woolf’s prognosis of gender and racist domination, the alienating praxis will be linked to the selfproduction of the hegemonic topic as a result of supplementary compensating position of white femininity, which services as a reflect concealing alienation and magnifying the narcissistic eﬀects of the patriarchal will to strength. by means of shattering this specular help of the dominant topic, Woolf stresses nonappropriative, passionate relatives to others and to the area, relatives which are irreducible to will and domination and but are a resource of creativity. Woolf rejects realism within the identify of the feminist struggles for the recent probabilities. What motivates Woolf’s critique of realism, ancient choice, and construction is a feminist aesthetic of potentiality. but how should still we comprehend such potentiality? The relation among the female, chance, and experimental aesthetics transforms the very that means of femininity in order that it really is not is linked to enslaving materiality, melancholia, or resentment yet turns into in its place the exemplary ﬁgure of the human capability to alter. And, conversely, the which means of chance alterations besides, as soon as it really is linked to women’s fight opposed to the destruction in their capacities instead of with organisation or will. additionally, potentiality additionally permits us to reconsider Woolf’s literary “wild experiments,” corresponding to flow of realization, inside monologue, shifts in gender id, and the perspectival play of a number of narrative issues of view in To the Lighthouse, Orlando, or The Waves. the most query that i need to think about is the relation among “feminine” potentiality and experimental writing. what's unique in Woolf’s research of female potentiality is the contradiction among women’s limitless skill to alter and their event of powerlessness and subjugation.