The essay describes Angus Fletcher’s ambitious, often uncanny ways of mapping the nature of literary form and literary knowing. The essay describes how Fletcher himself describes our crucial metaphors of order and disorder, our “cosmic” (sometimes cosmetic) images, how he explores their conditions of possibility. The focus is on three words, three figures of thought in Fletcher’s work: daemon, central to his picture of allegorical agency, its compulsive, almost supernatural character; gnome, or the gnomic, a name for what’s most secret, most difficult, and yet most fundamental in literary expression; and horizon, a mark of how human thought, in collaboration with nature or the given world, shapes an image of space, direction, and limit, an imaginary line that also helps to frame ideas of transcendence. Taken together, these three words offer coordinates by which one can start to map the unfolding labyrinth of Fletcher’s conceptual world.
Angus Fletcher’s Precious Idiosyncrasy: Humming with Mind
Kenneth Gross’s books include The Dream of the Moving Statue, Shakespeare’s Noise, Shylock Is Shakespeare, and Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life, which was co-winner of the 2011–12 George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism. He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Academy in Berlin. He teaches English at the University of Rochester.
Kenneth Gross; Angus Fletcher’s Precious Idiosyncrasy: Humming with Mind. boundary 2 1 November 2020; 47 (4): 157–179. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-8677875
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