Novels in the Everyday: An Aesthetic Investigation

Estetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics 56 (2):206-222 (2019)
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Abstract

Everyday aestheticians have had relatively little to say about literature. Inspired by Peter Kivy’s philosophy of literature as laid out in his books The Performance of Reading and Once-Told Tales, I examine reading literature as a part of everyday life. I argue that not only do Kivy’s views help explain the value that avid readers place on their daily silent engagement with a book, but that his philosophy of literature also shows how literary works can have an aesthetic presence in our everyday lives even during periods in-between reading a book. In light of the paper, literary reading turns out to be an artistic routine that fills avid readers’ everyday lives in a very literal sense.

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Kalle Puolakka
University of Helsinki

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