Scrutinizing Beauty

Edited by Eleanor Dobson and Daisy Gudmunsen

MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities 12

Modern Humanities Research Association

4 March 2018


Beauty is the only thing that time cannot harm. Philosophies fall away like sand, creeds follow one another, but what is beautiful is a joy for all seasons, a possession for all eternity. — Oscar Wilde

Beauty is desired in order to be befouled. Not for its own sake, but for the joy brought by the certainty of profaning it. — Georges Bataille

Beauty has many contradictory associations, from ephemerality to permanence, the natural to the artificial. When we attempt to locate the beautiful, notions of ‘conventional’ beauty often conflict with individual assessments of what is beautiful. We are told that beauty is in the eye of the beholder(s), but is beauty only ever a perception, or can it be an intrinsic quality of objects and people? Is it possible to define the nature of the aesthetic experience? Beauty may trigger philosophical or spiritual contemplation, but it can also evoke possessiveness and lust. Historically, beauty has been admired as virtuous and feared as dangerous. Do judgements about beauty do a disservice to their object, or do they elevate it?

Contents:

1-10
Introduction: Scrutinizing Beauty
Eleanor Dobson, Daisy Gudmunsen
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11-19
Crooked Antics: The Visions of Jenny Wren in Dickens’s Our Mutual Friend
Tamsin Evernden
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20-29
Elegance Beyond the Boundaries: The Russian Fashion Publication Modnyi magazin and the Concept of an ‘Elegant Woman’
Maria Alesina
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30-37
Beauty, the Artist and the Scientist: Aesthetic Education in Zola’s Le Docteur Pascal
Tuo Liu
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38-49
The Pursuit of Beauty in Late-Victorian Illustration
Mariana Oliveira Pires
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50-59
‘Some terrible wind-tortured place’: Beauty, Imagism and the Littoral in H.D.’s Sea Garden
Elizabeth O’Connor
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60-69
Nietzschean Allegory: The Perversion of Apollonian and Dionysian Beauty in No Country for Old Men and There Will be Blood
Tom Cobb
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70-79
Psychopath Aesthetics: The Example of the Cannibal
Dominique Gracia
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Bibliography entry:

Dobson, Eleanor, and Daisy Gudmunsen (eds), Scrutinizing Beauty (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 12 (2018)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-12> [accessed 28 October 2020]

First footnote reference: 35 Scrutinizing Beauty, ed. by Eleanor Dobson and Daisy Gudmunsen (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 12 (2018)) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-12> [accessed 28 October 2020], p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Dobson and Gudmunsen, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Dobson, Eleanor, and Daisy Gudmunsen (eds). 2018. Scrutinizing Beauty (= MHRA Working Papers in the Humanities, 12) <http://www.mhra.org.uk/publications/wph-12> [accessed 28 October 2020]

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Dobson and Gudmunsen 2018: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Dobson and Gudmunsen 2018: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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