Wassim Rustom is a visiting PhD fellow from the University of Bergen. His PhD project is provisionally titled Making Use: On the Negotiation of Means-Ends Relations in Modern Literature; Wordsworth, Pater, Woolf. The project approaches questions about the “uses of literature” by exploring how individual (canonical) works of literature and criticism, and the poetics that undergird them, already involve specific models—and problematizations—of means-ends relations. Poems by William Wordsworth stage a conflict between causal poetics that connect to the (self-)definition of poetic speech and modes of its reading. Walter Pater’s aestheticism, rather than a rejection of use, is read as a reflection on the relation between the individual and collective as sources for the legitimation of ends. In the work of Virginia Woolf, the poeticization of ordinary life poses questions to the “critique of everyday life” approaches that it anticipates.
Welcome to Wassim!