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Palgrave Macmillan

The Subject of Minimalism

On Aesthetics, Agency, and Becoming

ISBN 9781137343369
Publication Date September 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

The Subject of Minimalism advocates for minimalism as an approach to daily life. Utilizing a wide range of theoretical and creative texts, Thomas Phillips offers an examination of subjectivity as considered, enacted, and embodied. Provocatively, he makes the claim that lived experience is capable of being refined according to the paradoxically rich parameters of a minimalist aesthetic. What is finally at stake for one who engages with certain texts, the book argues, is a selfhood that may become at once 'minimized' and advanced in the psychology and materiality of its everyday life.

Thomas Phillips is a Lecturer at North Carolina State University, USA. He is the author of several novels, including Long Slow Distance, Insouciance, and Ensemble. He is also a composer of minimal electronic music who records and performs internationally.

1. Stirrings of Discontent: A Theoretical Context
2. Becoming Fiction: Sarraute, Stein, Hemingway
3. Carver, Sarraute, Toussaint
4. Echenoz, Fabre, DeLillo
5. Lights Camera Action
6. 'Mark the Music': Microsound and Becoming-Silence
7. The Masochistic Body
8. The 'Somaesthetic' Turn: Becoming-Minimal
9. On Virtue, Verbs, and the Virtual
Conclusion and Post Script: On Being Able


"This is a very well written, theoretically complex, and conceptually lucid work that wishes to analyze the intersection of aesthetic practices and the articulation of subjectivity: who we are and how we interact with the world and with ourselves. Phillips is equally sophisticated and successful in his analysis and deep probing of the texts at hand, whether they be philosophical, psychological, cultural, or artistic (literature, performance pieces, or music). The scope of the writing is far-reaching; the project is very ambitious; the mind behind the work is very sharp and insightful. Phillips proves his talents over and over again." - Annabel Martín, Associate Professor of Spanish, Comparative Literature, and Women's and Gender Studies, Dartmouth College, USA
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