Herbert Grabes   Making Strange

Making Strange: Beauty, Sublimity, and the (Post)Modern ‘Third Aesthetic‘ (Amsterdam: Rodopi) is a compact, indispensible overview answering the vexed question: Why do so many works of modern and postmodern literature and art seem designed to appear ‘strange’ , and how can they still cause pleasure in the reader or beholder? To help overcome the initial barrier caused by this ‘strangeness’, the general reader is given an initial, non-technical description of the ‘aesthetic of the strange’ as it is experienced in the reading or viewing process.

There follows a broad survey of modern and postmodern trends, illustrating their staggering variety and making plain the manifold methods and strategies adopted by writers and artists to ‘make it strange’. The book closes with a systematic summary of the theoretical underpinnings of the ‘aesthetic of the strange, focusing on the ways in which it differs from both the earlier ‘aesthetic of the beautiful’ and the ‘aesthetic of the sublime’.

It is made amply clear that the strangeness characteristic of modern and postmodern art has ushered in an entirely new, ‘third’ kind of aesthetic – one that has undergone further transformation over the past two decades.


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Professor Herbert Grabes

Department of English / JLU Gießen

Otto-Behaghel-Straße 10 B
35394 Giessen
Raum: B 332
Phone: +49 641 - 99 301 00 / -300 91 (Sekreteriat)
Fax: +49 641 - 99 300 99
E-Mail: Herbert.Grabes@anglistik.uni-giessen.de