Obsolete objects in the literary imagination [electronic resource] :ruins, relics, rarities, rubbish, uninhabited places, and hidden treasures / Francesco Orlando ; translated from the Italian by Gabriel Pihas and Daniel Seidel, with the collaboration of Alessandra Grego ; foreword by David Quint.
By: Orlando, Francesco.Material type: BookPublisher: New Haven : Yale University Press, c2006Description: 1 online resource (xvii, 500 p.).ISBN: 9780300138214 (electronic bk.); 0300138210 (electronic bk.); 0300108087; 9780300108088; 1281728918; 9781281728913.Uniform titles: Oggetti desueti nelle immagini della letteratura. English Subject(s): Exoticism in literature | Picturesque, The, in literature | Ruins in literature | Literature, Modern -- History and criticism | TRAVEL -- Special Interest -- Literary | LITERARY CRITICISM -- General | ლიტერატურაGenre/Form: Electronic books.DDC classification: 809/.9332 Online resources: EBSCOhost
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 407-480) and indexes.
What this book is about -- First, confused examples -- Making decisions in order to proceed -- A tree neither genealogical nor botanical -- Twelve categories not to be too sharply distinguished -- Some twentieth-century novels -- Praising and disparaging the functional.
Translated here into English for the first time is a monumental work of literary history and criticism comparable in scope and achievement to Eric Auerbach's "Mimesis". Italian critic Francesco Orlando explores Western literature's obsession with outmoded and nonfunctional objects (ruins, obsolete machinery, broken things, trash, etc). Combining the insights of psychoanalysis and literary-political history, Orlando traces this obsession to a turning point in history, at the end of eighteenth-century industrialisation, when the functional becomes the dominant value of Western culture. Roaming through every genre and much of the history of Western literature, the author identifies distinct categories into which obsolete images can be classified and provides myriad examples. The function of literature in our culture, he concludes, is to remind us of what we have lost and what we are losing as we rush toward the future.