Obsolete Objects in the Literary Imagination: Ruins, Relics, Rarities, Rubbish, Uninhabited Places, and Hidden Treasures

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Description

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 industrialization, 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, he concludes, is to remind us of what we have lost and what we are losing as we rush toward the future.

Product Details

Price
$78.00
Publisher
Yale University Press
Publish Date
June 01, 2006
Pages
500
Dimensions
6.5 X 1.5 X 9.28 inches | 2.0 pounds
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9780300108088
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Francesco Orlando is professor of theory of literature at the University of Pisa and is widely regarded as one of Europe's foremost literary critics. Gabriel Pihas is assistant professor, European College of Liberal Arts, Berlin. Daniel Seidel is a freelance translator living in Brooklyn, NY. Alessandra Grego is adjunct professor of English literature, John Cabot University of Rome.