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Paradoxy of Modernism$
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Robert Scholes

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300108200

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300108200.001.0001

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The Aesthete in the Brothel: Proust and Others

The Aesthete in the Brothel: Proust and Others

(p.257) 9 The Aesthete in the Brothel: Proust and Others
Paradoxy of Modernism

Robert Scholes

Yale University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which some major literary modernists chose to enter and represent a central feature of the Lower urban world: the modern brothel. It considers the function of the brothel episodes in Proust and Joyce, and, therefore, in modernism itself. It argues that the aesthete in the brothel is perhaps the most concrete and powerful representation of the paradoxy of modernism. The Modernist writers and artists keep returning to this scene because it is the place where the flesh and the spirit are brought into the closest proximity, where the question of what is Real is posed most powerfully.

Keywords:   modernists, Proust, Joyce, brothels, modernism

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