Faculty Bookshelf

The Aesthetic Commonplace

The Aesthetic Commonplace is a study of the everyday as a region of overlooked value in the work of William Wordsworth, George Eliot, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. The Romantic poet, the realist novelist, and the modern philosopher are each separately associated with a commitment to the common, the ordinary, and the everyday as a vital resource for reflection on language, on feeling, on ethical insight, and social attunement. The Aesthetic Commonplace is the first study to draw substantive lines of connection between Wittgenstein and the cultural and literary history of nineteenth century England. Tracing conceptual and formal affinities between the poet, the novelist, and the philosopher, the book brings to light significant links between the intellectual history of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth, making the case for a continuous cultural commitment to the aesthetic as a distinctive mode of investigating thought, feeling, and the everyday language upon which we depend for their articulation. Addressed to both literary studies and to philosophy, The Aesthetic Commonplace makes a compelling case for the interdependence of form, concept, and emotion in the history and interpretive practices of both disciplines.