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Labors of Imagination: Aesthetics and Political Economy from Kant to Althusser

Labors of Imagination: Aesthetics and Political Economy from Kant to Althusser a Lthusser . Aesthetics has often been conscripted as a convenient strawman to stand against politics, culture, history, and ideology. such orchestrated clashes might have been beneficial or even necessary for the discipline of literary studies at one time or another, but, like all heuristic indulgences, they have a way of ossifying into critical impediments. in the field of eighteenth-century studies, the work of re-examining and judiciously clearing away suspect assumptions about aesthetics has proven tremendously beneficial in recent decades. The relationships that connect taste, judgment, wealth, sovereignty, and sentiment in the period are difficult enough to untangle without being encumbered by careless preconceptions. Jan Mieszkowski’s Labors of Imagination: Aesthetics and Political Economy from Kant to Althusser undertakes just such a rigorous re-thinking of the relationship between aesthetics, history, and political economy. The study examines the emergence of these discourses in the wake of the enlightenment in order to challenge the assumption that aesthetics in the eighteenth century was defined as a sphere to be kept pure and free from all forms of subjective, material, or empirical interest. According to such simplistic narratives, aesthetics was from its inception concerned only with form and structure, and its development was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Labors of Imagination: Aesthetics and Political Economy from Kant to Althusser

Comparative Literature , Volume 60 (4) – Jan 1, 2008

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2008 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-60-4-389
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

a Lthusser . Aesthetics has often been conscripted as a convenient strawman to stand against politics, culture, history, and ideology. such orchestrated clashes might have been beneficial or even necessary for the discipline of literary studies at one time or another, but, like all heuristic indulgences, they have a way of ossifying into critical impediments. in the field of eighteenth-century studies, the work of re-examining and judiciously clearing away suspect assumptions about aesthetics has proven tremendously beneficial in recent decades. The relationships that connect taste, judgment, wealth, sovereignty, and sentiment in the period are difficult enough to untangle without being encumbered by careless preconceptions. Jan Mieszkowski’s Labors of Imagination: Aesthetics and Political Economy from Kant to Althusser undertakes just such a rigorous re-thinking of the relationship between aesthetics, history, and political economy. The study examines the emergence of these discourses in the wake of the enlightenment in order to challenge the assumption that aesthetics in the eighteenth century was defined as a sphere to be kept pure and free from all forms of subjective, material, or empirical interest. According to such simplistic narratives, aesthetics was from its inception concerned only with form and structure, and its development was

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2008

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