Many themes of the book are summarized here, with reference to art works examined throughout. However, the critical function of the work of art, the power that Marcuse and Adorno discern in the literary work, is located in terms of form, forming, and transformation. This function is born at the instant an artwork’s form de-forms and re-forms in front of the reader. Earlier conjectures concerning the cognitive aspects of form are re-engaged, and taken to reinforce this critical function. The work of Barry MacSweeney, controversial for its extreme violence, is read against the grain of its abject content, in terms of formal development and its formal critical function. The aesthetic tradition’s concern with the relationship of art to life is reinvestigated through the contemporary theory of Jacques Rancière, as a series of positions, each taken up by different poets examined in this study.
For the thesis of the book again, turn here.
For the book itself, here are the places: