Listening to Céline’s petite musique, Hearing Hermans as well - Luisterend naar Célines kleine muziek, daarbij ook Hermans horend

Arnold Heumakers


Based on an analysis of the work of Céline and Hermans this essay demonstrates a certain pattern in nineteenth and twentieth century literature, that is typical of the modern concept of art introduced by Romanticism. In this pattern aesthetic autonomy, romantic engagement as well as l’art pour l’art or aestheticism are closely related, yet it is no less imperative to clearly distinguish them. By doing that the analysis of Céline and Hermans suggests a possibility for aesthetic autonomy that remains even when the pattern of autonomy, engagement and l’art pour l’art might lose much of its actual importance.


Louis-Ferdinand Céline; Willem Frederik Hermans; Aesthetic autonomy; Romantic engagement / Louis-Ferdinand Céline; Willem Frederik Hermans; Esthetische autonomie; Romantisch engagement; L’art pour l’art

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