Structure Disclosed : Replete Moments and Aesthetic Experience in Reading Novels

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Puolakka , K 2019 , ' Structure Disclosed : Replete Moments and Aesthetic Experience in Reading Novels ' , International Journal of Philosophical Studies , vol. 27 , no. 4 , pp. 544-561 . https://doi.org/10.1080/09672559.2019.1632371

Title: Structure Disclosed : Replete Moments and Aesthetic Experience in Reading Novels
Author: Puolakka, Kalle
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Department of Philosophy, History and Art Studies
Date: 2019-08-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 18
Belongs to series: International Journal of Philosophical Studies
ISSN: 0967-2559
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/307439
Abstract: Despite the huge interest in different philosophical questions surrounding literature, particularly analytic philosophers have had relatively little to say about literature's specifically aesthetic character. Peter Kivy has developed this antiaesthetic tendency furthest, ultimately denying that the reading of prose literature has any deep aesthetic content. Building on Alan Goldman's and John Dewey's work on aesthetic experience, I argue that a key literary feature of novels I single out - what I term a replete moment - has the potential to trigger in readers significant aesthetic experiences. Along with revealing aesthetic aspects in reading that Kivy's position does not cover, my account shows that contemplation of the overall structure of the novel is not the sole, more substantial form aesthetic experience can take in the case of reading, as Kivy's formalistic literary aesthetics assumes. This conclusion is argued to be significant also for the general philosophical discussion on aesthetic experience. An analysis of a key passage in John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany is an important part of the view of literary aesthetic experience put forth.
Subject: Aesthetic experience
Dewey
Kivy
aesthetic formalism
literary reading
novel
611 Philosophy
6122 Literature studies
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