The Decadent Decades: A Phenomenology of Fetishism in the Turn-of-the-Century French Novel: The Case of Huysmans

Dissertation, Cornell University (1996)

Abstract
Traditionally, the fetish is a material object invested with religious significance by a human subject, but the contemporary concept subsumes any form of human obsession for any object, on the part of the perceiving subject. Fetishism occurring in aesthetic production is the construction of a material Other. The fetish is constituted as a fictionalization; as the agency of human obsession governing materially significant details. ;Chapter One charts an overview of fetishism and its subsequent adoption by contemporary theorists as an interpretive tool. From this critical analysis a new approach to fetishism results, the phenomenological derivative. The explicit connection between fetishism and phenomenology is established here, as is that of literary decadence and phenomenology: all share the object as their primary focus, with nuances. In fetishism, the object itself is aspectualized as the locus of human devotion; in phenomenology, the object's focus gives way to the primordiality of the intentionalized human consciousness that perceived that object. ;Chapters Two and Three situate the theoretical model in late nineteenth-century France with its specialized fetishes. The writer Huysmans saturated his literature with abundant forms of fetishism; from the material ornament to the ethereal fantasy, the fetish distinguishes itself as an independently reified sign in the novel. Huysmans's texts, A rebours and La cathedrale, provide the locus in which intrinsic codes of fetishism are identified within the novel, ideally illustrating the phenomenological framework of being and the dynamics of fetishism through the character des Esseintes, a name suggesting the essence of essences. ;Fetishism displays how objects are preferentialized by a perceiving subject; by extension, phenomenology shows how fetishism is a form of being-in-the-world. By evolving fetishism thus , fetishism expands beyond the parameters of its current definitions. This formulation is then applied to the excessively populated interior of French literary decadence. Revealing the modes of construction in these works raises questions of more culturally significant interest to critics of fin-de-siecle literature
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,780
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Object Lessons: Fetishism, Subjective Knowledge, and Objective Desire.Ellen Lee Mccallum - 1996 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Cultures of Fetishism.Louise J. Kaplan - 2006 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
Quasi-Objects, Cult Objects and Fashion Objects.Bjørn Schiermer - 2011 - Theory, Culture and Society 28 (1):81-102.
What Does Marx Mean by the "Fetishism of Commodities" ?Alexandra Dobra - 2010 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 10 (7):1-9.
The Evasion of Gender in Freudian Fetishism.Donovan Miyasaki - 2003 - Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society 8 (2):289-98.
Fetisjen En Spoken: Marx En Derrida.Egidius Berns - 2004 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 66 (2):203 - 226.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-04

Total views
0

Recent downloads (6 months)
0

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature