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‘A Commitment to Self-Destruction: The Glamorisation of Death in Jack Kerouac’s Tristessa through the Phenomenon of the Sublime’

Harma, Tanguy. 2014. '‘A Commitment to Self-Destruction: The Glamorisation of Death in Jack Kerouac’s Tristessa through the Phenomenon of the Sublime’'. In: GLITS. Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom Weekly seminar every Thursday evening. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract or Description

This presentation will explore the paradoxical movement of construction and glamorisation of narrative forms, and their subsequent destruction in Kerouac's novella. As I connect the textual strategies of glamorisation to the processes of annihilation that Tristessa features, I will show how the novella exemplifies the phenomenon of the Sublime – as developed specifically by Immanuel Kant – in its contents as well as in its style.
More specifically, this paper will focus on the foundational paradox of the novella, which is expressed aesthetically through the intensification and magnification of the debasement of the heroine by, and for, the autodiegetic narrator. Consequently, Tristessa will be devised as an aesthetic project with a morbid perversion lying at its core; I will show that its momentum is located in the fragile balance between the substantial depiction of the Sublime and the outrageous decomposition that it yelds. It is precisely upon this irreconcilable contention that the novella is based, as it convokes the forces of the Sublime in order to revoke them in the macabre dissolution of beauty of an extraordinary nature.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Keywords:

Jack Kerouac; Tristessa; Sublime; Kant; destruction; glamorisation; death; beauty; religious syncretism; death; crucifixion.

Related URLs:

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature

Dates:

DateEvent
23 January 2014["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

Event Location:

Goldsmiths, University of London, United Kingdom

Date range:

Weekly seminar every Thursday evening

Item ID:

18001

Date Deposited:

26 Apr 2016 15:05

Last Modified:

26 Jun 2017 09:10

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/18001

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