Eva Ruda’s Talk: The End of Art in the Novel

19 Nov 2018 - 04:00 / 19 Nov 2018 - 04:00

Eva Ruda’s Talk: The End of Art in the Novel
Time: 4 pm. Monday, November 19th, 2018
Location: Centre for Comparative Literature, Isabel Bader Theatre, 3rd Floor, 93 Charles St.

One of the most common assumptions about Hegel’s Aesthetics is that it has nothing to say about modern art: Hegel didn’t have a sense for the imminent modernist break and its consequences in and for the realm of art – a fact that is displayed most symptomatically in his dictum about the end of art in general, and more specifically in the peculiar absence of any elaborate account of the modern (artistic) genre par excellence – the novel. The paper will challenge this prevalent reading by linking the (apparent) absence of any succinct account of the novel within the Aesthetics to a work by one of its most devoted followers, namely to Georg Lukács’ Theory of the Novel. What if the Theory of the Novel was not simply external to Hegel’s Aesthetics, but should rather be read as its integral part, as precisely in its externality its most intimate kernel? Reading together Hegel and Lukács will allow to understand this not as a claim about art’s necessary disappearance, but rather as a claim about art finding an end in itself. The most succinct articulation of this is embodied in the modern novel as conceptualized in Hegelian Spirit in Lukács’ Theory – and, as the paper will conclude: carried out by Beckett.

Eva Ruda studied Comparative Literature, Romance Languages, and Theatre Studies at Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle and at the Free University of Berlin where she received her MA in Comparative Literature. Since 2012 she is a fellow at the Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies at the Free University of Berlin and since 2015 an associate member of the PhD Network „The Knowledge of Literature“ at the Humboldt University of Berlin. Currently she is spending the fall term as a Visiting Assistant in Research at Yale University, where she is completing her doctoral thesis on questions of the real and realism in Samuel Beckett’s novel L’Innommable / The Unnamable.