Aesthetic Apprehensions: Silences and Absences in False Familiarities is a scholarly conversation about encounters between habitual customs of reading and seeing and their ruptures and ossifications. In closely connected discourses, the thirteen essays collected here set out to carefully probe the ways our aesthetic immersions are obfuscated by deep-seated epistemological and ideological apprehensions by focusing on how the tropology carried by silence, absence, and false familarity crystallize to define the gaps that open up. As they figure in the subtitle of this volume, the tropes may seem straightforward enough, but a closer examination of their function in relation to social, cultural, and political assumptions and gestalts reveal troubling oversights. Aesthetic Apprehensions comes to name the attempt at capturing the outlier meanings residing in habituated receptions as well as the uneasy relations that result from aesthetic practices already in place, emphasizing the kinds of thresholds of sense and sensation which occasion rupture and creativity. Such, after all, is the promise of the threshold, of the liminal: to encourage our leap into otherness, for then to find ourselves and our sensing again, and anew in novel comprehensions.
Jena Habegger-Conti is associate professor of English at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.
Lene M. Johannessen is professor of American literature at the University of Bergen.
Introduction: Apprehending Aesthetic Apprehensions, Jena Habegger-Conti and Lene M Johannessen
Chapter 1: Drawing Closer: Liminal Medievalism in the Post-punk Gothic, Aidan Conti
Chapter 2: A Chair is not a House: Sepulchral Intimacies in Sharp Objects, Janne Stigen Drangsholt
Chapter 3: “The Immortal Conception, the Perennial Theme”: Reading the Modern Body in Willa Cather’s “Coming, Aphrodite!”, Ingrid Galtung
Chapter 4: Not Reading the Signs in Nick Drnaso’s Sabrina, Jena Habegger-Conti
Chapter 5: Apprehensive Figurations: Monuments in “Site-Specific Performances”, Lene M. Johannessen
Chapter 6: Apprehending the Past in the National Parks: False Familiarities, Aesthetic, Imaginaries, and Indigenous Erasures, Jennifer Ladino
Chapter 7: The Garrulous Eye: Allegorization of Rape in Djuna Barnes’ “Ryder”, Helle Håkonsen Lapeniene
Chapter 8: Metonymy and the “Art of Reading the World Slowly”, Genevieve Liveley
Chapter 9: Aesthetic Apprehensions, Hauntology and Just Literature, Ruben Moi
Chapter 10: Close Reading and Critical Immersion, Timothy Saunders
Chapter 11: Indians, Aliens, and Superheroes: Countering Silence and the Invisual in David Mack’s Echo: Vision Quest, Sara L. Spurgeon
Chapter 12: Listening to Ourselves: The Musician as Listener in Rafi Zabor’s The Bear
Comes Home, Zoltan Varga
Chapter 13. Harlem to World and World to Harlem: Revisiting the Transnational Negotiations of Harlem Renaissance Narratives, Nahum Welang