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Wonder Strikes
Approaching Aesthetics and Literature with William Desmond
Wonder Strikes
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Steven E. Knepper - Author
William Desmond - Foreword by
Price: $95.00 
Hardcover - 272 pages
Release Date: July 2022
ISBN13: 978-1-4384-8955-1



The first book-length examination of the prominent contemporary philosopher William Desmond's approach to aesthetics, art, and literature.

William Desmond argues that philosophy, religion, and art begin in wonder. Desmond is widely recognized for his original metaphysics and his provocative philosophy of religion. Desmond's extensive writings on aesthetics, art, and literature, however, have received much less attention. Wonder Strikes is the first book-length examination of these dimensions of Desmond's thought. It offers nuanced commentary on his treatment of beauty and the sublime; his accounts of tragedy and comedy; and his argument that, having asked "too much" of art in modernity, we now ask "too little." Desmond claims that art, philosophy, and religion must recover their ancient kinship and their shared roots in wonder if they are to counter the destructive instrumentalism of our time.

"Knepper has written a beautifully crafted study of the work of William Desmond, particularly the thread within the distinguished Irish philosopher's work concerned with how and why philosophy relates to art and religion and how it is impoverished without having constructive relations with them, even if it is not determined by either. Wonder Strikes is not only informative and judicious in its selections of topics in Desmond and apt in quotation, it is throughout a pleasure to read." — Cyril O'Regan, Notre Dame University

Steven E. Knepper is Associate Professor in the Department of English, Rhetoric, and Humanistic Studies at the Virginia Military Institute.

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