Obsolete objects in the literary imagination: ruins, relics, rarities, rubbish, uninhabited places, and hidden treasures

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Yale University Press,
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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.
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Grouped Work ID 5611c63a-0ffd-ba68-e8c4-da86f1dc11bb
Grouping Title obsolete objects in the literary imagination ruins relics rarities rubbish uninhabited places and hi
Grouping Author orlando francesco
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2017-08-14 05:04:28AM
Last Indexed 2018-07-23 04:57:44AM

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author Orlando, Francesco, 1934-
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primary_isbn 9780300138214
publishDate 2006
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title_display Obsolete objects in the literary imagination ruins, relics, rarities, rubbish, uninhabited places, and hidden treasures
title_full 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
title_short Obsolete objects in the literary imagination
title_sub ruins, relics, rarities, rubbish, uninhabited places, and hidden treasures