This is the 21st volume in the "Aesthetics Lexicon" series inaugurated in 1995 under the direction of Remo Bodei. The series includes three sections respectively dedicated to the arts, the history of aesthetics, and its key concepts. This new entry on the aesthetics of literature is part of the section on the arts, which already includes volumes by Fubini on music, Masiero on architecture, Francalanci on objects, Pinotti on painting and Pezzella on motion pictures.
In recent years aesthetics and literature have undergone a profound change featuring the following elements: the widespread aestheticization that is typical of modern life, the increasing influence of the visual on the collective imagination, a revolution in cultural studies. This book examines the complex relationship between aesthetics and literature in three specific ways: a historical review of the main movements in literary aesthetics (aesthetics before aesthetics; from the romantic revolution to modernism; after modernity); an exploration of the key elements of literary communication (authors, genres, texts, readers); a map of contemporary aesthetics keywords, devised as a concise glossary for the reader.
Massimo Fusillo teaches Literary Criticism and Comparative Literature at the University of L'Aquila.