"We murder to dissect" : enjoyment of beauty versus theoretical rigour in Zadie Smith's On beauty

Zdrojový dokument: Brno studies in English. 2012, roč. 38, č. 1, s. [77]-85
  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Článek
Licence: Neurčená licence
The article discusses how Zadie Smith's inspiration by E.M. Forster's novel Howards End (1910) and Elaine Scarry's essay "On Beauty and Being Just" (1998) contributed to her ethical vision in her third novel, On Beauty (2005). Her characters are tested according to their ability to respond to different forms of beauty, which is a measure of their ability to respond to other human beings. The paper also explores how E.M. Forster's motto ("only connect") is expanded in the novel to include people of different classes, cultures and ethnicities and how his criticism of moral blindness is reflected in her enactments of some of its contemporary manifestations in the world of academia.
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