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The labour of laziness in twentieth-century American literature

Author: Zuzanna Ladyga
Publisher: Edinburgh : Edinburgh University Press, [2019] ©2019
Series: Modern American literature and the new twentieth century.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Focuses on the issue of productivity, using the figure of laziness to negotiate the relation between the ethical and the aesthetic. This book argues that major twentieth-century American writers such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, John Barth, Donald Barthelme and David Foster Wallace provocatively challenge the ethos of productivity by filtering their ethical interventions through culturally stigmatized  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Zuzanna Ladyga
ISBN: 1474442927 9781474442923
OCLC Number: 1085205251
Description: xv, 279 pages ; 23 cm.
Contents: Acknowledgements --
Preface. Introduction: doing nothing in America. --
Part 1 The philosophical and literary contexts of laziness : Laziness as concept-metaphor --
Laziness in American literature: the inaugural moment. --
Part 2 The modernist moment of laziness : Cessation and inaction externe: Gertrude Stein and Marcel Duchamp --
Laziness and tactility in Ernest Hemingway's The garden of Eden. --
Part 3 The postmodern moment of laziness : Exhaustion of possibilities: Harold Rosenberg, John Barth and Susan Sontag --
Inertia and not-knowing in the fiction of Donald Barthelme --
Acedia and David Foster Wallace's The pale king. Epilogue --
Index.
Series Title: Modern American literature and the new twentieth century.
Responsibility: Zuzanna Ladyga.

Abstract:

Focuses on the issue of productivity, using the figure of laziness to negotiate the relation between the ethical and the aesthetic. This book argues that major twentieth-century American writers such as Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, John Barth, Donald Barthelme and David Foster Wallace provocatively challenge the ethos of productivity by filtering their ethical interventions through culturally stigmatized imagery of laziness. The author argues that when the motif of laziness appears, it invariably reveals the underpinnings of an emerging value system at a given historical moment, while at the same time offering a glimpse into the strategies of rebelling against the status quo.

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