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R. Felski, Hooked. Art and Attachment

R. Felski, Hooked. Art and Attachment

Publié le par Aurelien Maignant

Compte rendu publié dans Acta Fabula (septembre 2022, vol. 23, n° 7) :

"Ces liens forts qui nous unissent" par Jean-François Vernay.

Rita Felski, Hooked. Art and Attachment 

Chicago : University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 9780226729466 — 200 p. — 22,50 $

How does a novel entice or enlist us? How does a song surprise or seduce us? Why do we bristle when a friend belittles a book we love, or fall into a funk when a favored TV series comes to an end? What characterizes the aesthetic experiences of feeling captivated by works of art? In Hooked, Rita Felski challenges the ethos of critical aloofness that is a part of modern intellectuals’ self-image. The result is sure to be as widely read as Felski’s book, The Limits of Critique.

Wresting the language of affinity away from accusations of sticky sentiment and manipulative marketing, Felski argues that “being hooked” is as fundamental to the appreciation of high art as to the enjoyment of popular culture. Hooked zeroes in on three attachment devices that connect audiences to works of art: identification, attunement, and interpretation. Drawing on examples from literature, film, music, and painting—from Joni Mitchell to Matisse, from Thomas Bernhard to Thelma and Louise—Felski brings the language of attachment into the academy. Hooked returns us to the fundamentals of aesthetic experience, showing that the social meanings of artworks are generated not just by critics, but also by the responses of captivated audiences. 


Chapter 1 On Being Attached
Chapter 2 Art and Attunement
Chapter 3 Identification: A Defense
Chapter 4 Interpreting as Relating



Stephanie Burt, Harvard University

Hooked is the third in a de facto trilogy defending the varied ways in which people like and care about works of art, both inside and outside the academy and its various critical traditions. Felski argues that we write about works of art because we care about them and get pleasure from them— we're hooked!—and that examining them critically is neither the same as, nor opposed to, being hooked in other ways. Hooked provides a way forward, not only a description of what we already do or a reason to stop doing it, but a way to say more and do more."

James English, University of Pennsylvania

Hooked is a marvelous achievement. It is a rousing book that returns to one of the main questions at the heart of Felski’s scholarship—how people become attached to particular works of literature or art. Hooked offers a form of reception studies that invites alliances with different schools and modes of inquiry, from book history and curation theory to biography, ethnography, and practical pedagogy. It will excite and energize readers for years to come.”