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Dead Letters SentQueer Literary Transmission$
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Kevin Ohi

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780816694778

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816694778.001.0001

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Queer Atavism and Pater’s Aesthetic Sensibility

Queer Atavism and Pater’s Aesthetic Sensibility

“Hippolytus Veiled” and “The Child in the House”

(p.82) 4 Queer Atavism and Pater’s Aesthetic Sensibility
Dead Letters Sent

Kevin Ohi

University of Minnesota Press

Chapter Four addresses two texts by Walter Pater: “Hippolytus Veiled: A Study from Euripides” and “The Child in the House,” suggesting that Pater’s (implicitly erotic) understanding of art history and of cultural transmission is also linked to the way he describes aesthetic Bildung and the emergence of a sensibility. Initiation is, in Pater’s model, purely contentless, and, the consciousness given birth, curiously groundless. The result is that aesthetic initiation marks a kind of potentializing of the past that links Paterian aesthetic sensibility to his understanding of cultural transmission.

Keywords:   Literary tradition, Literary and cultural transmission, Queer literary criticism, Queer theory, Initiation and Development, Close Reading, Potentiality, Temporality of Consciousness

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