‘What shall be our new ornaments?’ Description’s orientations

Benson, Stephen (2020) ‘What shall be our new ornaments?’ Description’s orientations. Textual Practice, 34 (4). pp. 605-625. ISSN 0950-236X

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Description has made something of a comeback in recent years as part of a theorising of possibilities for a post-hermeneutical critical orientation. The present essay considers the descriptive turn, so-called, in relation to a range of writing that crosses the boundaries of the critical and the creative: in work by Claire-Louise Bennett, Lisa Robertson, Wayne Koestenbaum and R. F. Langley. The essay identifies in this writing an occupancy of description’s register as it has been articulated over the ages by a frequently sceptical regulatory discourse: description as understood to be variously gratuitous, ornamental or passively affirmative. Rather than suggest an expanded field of contemporary descriptive practice, the proposal here is for description conceived as a minor mode, a relatively rare happening, but all the more valuable for being so.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: description,ekphrasis,contemporary literature,creative-critical writing,criticism
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2017 05:06
Last Modified: 08 Sep 2021 01:17
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/64506
DOI: 10.1080/0950236X.2018.1504115

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