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Tough Enough – Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Tough Enough: Arbus, Arendt, Didion, McCarthy, Sontag, Weil

Deborah Nelson

Abstract

This book identifies Diane Arbus, Hannah Arendt, Joan Didion, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, and Simone Weil as a counter tradition of unsentimental writing and art that stands between the cultures of irony and authenticity in the late twentieth century. Their work not only challenges empathy as the most important ethical model for attending to suffering in the postwar world, but also advocates for and demonstrates the ethics and aesthetics of the unsentimental. Played out at the level of style, this representational strategy required toughness, which is not desensitizing but rather re-sensitizi ... More

Keywords: Diane Arbus, Hannah Arendt, Joan Didion, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Simone Weil, emotion, unsentimental, style, aesthetics

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226457772
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226457949.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Deborah Nelson, author
University of Chicago