Sensorial Aesthetics: Cross-Modal Stylistics in Modernist Fiction

Authors

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.18

Keywords:

modernism, sensorial aesthetics, cross-modal iconicity, senses

Abstract

This article argues that modernist fiction pointedly involves all our senses as part of its reaction to the project of modernity and progress, as well as to Victorian realism; it is not just a response to a heighted sensibility towards new soundscapes, new perceptions of motion and new olfactory experiences in the aftermath of industrialization and modernization. This “rebellion” involves a shift of focus from outer, rational and objective reality to inner, irrational and subjective consciousness, which drives the emphasis on emotional and sensational experience. The article suggests that in light of recent important developments in cognitive, psychological and neurological research, as well as in affect studies and intermedial and multimodal studies, there is reason to revise modernist stylistics. This could predominantly be done within the theoretical field and taxonomy of intermediality, as proposed by Lars Elleström. The latter half of the article discusses some textual modernist samples to more convincingly establish a theory of modernist sensorial aesthetics.

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Author Biography

Niklas Salmose, Linnaeus University, Sweden

Niklas Salmose is Associate Professor of Literatures in English at Linnaeus University. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Department of Languages and the Programme Coordinator for the Master’s programme in English Language and Literature. He has published and presented internationally on nostalgia, Nordic noir, Hitchcock, cinematic style in fiction, modernism, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Anthropocene and Hollywood, animal horror, intermediality and sensorial aesthetics in fiction. Recent editorships include an issue on the Anthropocene for the journal Ekfrase (2016), a special issue on contemporary nostalgia for the journal Humanities (2018), a volume titled Transmediations. Communication across Media Borders for Routledge (2019) and a book on experimental Swedish filmmaker Eric M. Nilsson (2019). He is a member of the Linnaeus University Centre of Intermedial and Multimodal Studies (IMS).

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Published

2020-11-24

How to Cite

Salmose, N. (2020). Sensorial Aesthetics: Cross-Modal Stylistics in Modernist Fiction. Text Matters: A Journal of Literature, Theory and Culture, (10), 321-335. https://doi.org/10.18778/2083-2931.10.18