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Introduction: The Matter of Paris

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 September 2019

Catherine Flynn
Affiliation:
University of California, Berkeley
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Summary

The introduction reads Yeats’ record of his meeting with Joyce in 1902 and uncovers in Joyce’s declaration of his intention to write prose poetry an unacknowledged echoing of Baudelaire’s idea for prose poétique. It explores the Parisian context of Baudelaire’s ambition to develop a new kind of materially displaced thinking and considers it in relation to New Materialism: While neo-materialist approaches would shift emphasis and agency from a Cartesian subject to the world of matter, Baudelaire’s “things think through me, or I through them” retains a vital openness. It is here that I introduce the concept of Joyce’s sentient thinking, an undoing of the sovereign and dominating subject that offers new possibilities of cooperative co-being. The introduction theorizes Joyce’s exploration of a lived aesthetic practice with reference to accounts of subjectivity such as Judith Butler’s Senses of the Subject (2016) and works on reason under capitalism such as Martin Jay’s Reason After Its Eclipse (2016).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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