"In this wonderfully surprising and original study, Andrew Goldstone recovers a consistent recourse in modernism to 'fictions of autonomy,' designed precisely to mediate relations between works of art and the social and political domains. Goldstone's procedure is not to rehearse all the old arguments for and against autonomy but to show us how the relative autonomy of art was experienced and figured in a broad range of works. The result is a rich new history of modernism, from which the concept of autonomy emerges as an abstraction blooded rather than bloodied." --John Guillory, author of Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation
"Fictions of Autonomy develops a fresh and interesting argument about four different facets of aesthetic autonomy, fleshed out through reference to a wide range of literary and theoretical texts. The manuscript is always a pleasure to read, and the pairings of texts in individual chapters are persuasively accomplished." --Rita Felski, author of Uses of Literature
"In recent decades--even despite the affirmative renaissance of modernist studies since the 1990s--'autonomy' has not seemed a redeemable idea; indeed it has seemed only an idea to demystify and dismiss. Fictions of Autonomy asks that we approach the concept with more intelligence; and it models that intelligence with no little brilliance and with remarkable ingenuity." --Robert L. Caserio, author of The Novel in England, 1900-1950: History and Theory
"The author's thoughtful and important consideration of literary autonomy reopens a
provocative conversation with new insight, and it is intelligently and articulately conveyed...Highly recommended." --Choice
About the Author
Andrew Goldstone is Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University.