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Counterfactual Romanticism$
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Damian Walford Davies

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781784991418

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526107077

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PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

‘The object as in itself it really is not’: Counterfactual Romanticism and the aesthetics of contingency

‘The object as in itself it really is not’: Counterfactual Romanticism and the aesthetics of contingency

Chapter:
(p.33) 1 ‘The object as in itself it really is not’: Counterfactual Romanticism and the aesthetics of contingency
Source:
Counterfactual Romanticism
Author(s):

Anne C. McCarthy

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7765/9781526107077.00007

Revealing the Romantic credentials of the counterfactual sensibility, this chapter calls on us to embrace an ‘aesthetics of contingency’ through which we may recognise the conditioning counterfactuality of our lived lives. Extending the insights of William Galperin’s work on Jane Austen and Andrew Miller’s on the ‘optative mode’, the chapter powerfully recommends an ethically recalibrated view of objects, literary texts and periods – one that is alive to the multiple possibilities and counterfictions that condition our identities and which shadow our relation to a negotiable (literary) past.

Keywords:   Counterfactual Romanticism, Romantic counterfactualism, aesthetics of contingency, reparative reading, possibility-hood

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