This chapter takes its lead from the long traditions of thought that seek to link aesthetic, philosophical, and political domains by way of the bounded whole. It explores the claim that aesthetic objects share the formal property of unity with exclusive political communities and grounding philosophical concepts, but along the way, it poses a question that is not familiar in this tradition, a question about the affordances of bounded wholes. Most critics have attended to one crucial set of affordances, focusing their attention on the fact that totalities exclude and imprison. In the process, they have not stopped to ask whether they might lay claim to other, more progressive affordances as well. Paying attention to the full range of affordances of literary and political wholes will challenge the assumption that all totalities must be disrupted or broken. In fact, we cannot do without bounded wholes: their power to hold things together is what makes some of the most valuable kinds of political action possible at all.
Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.