The politics of fijeza: Jose Lezama Lima and the poetic novel
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Taking seriously the idea of a particularly modern phenomenon of alienation, this essay examines the way in which formulations of modernity offer a way of resolving alienation by directing our attention to the endless nature of modernity's narrative so that we look beyond historicist determinations to consider how narrative technique in general navigates a fundamental, dialogic flux of connectivity and alienation in all practices of identity-formation. Drawing upon the work of Bakhtin, Heidegger, Jameson, and Habermas, I propose that individuals can ammeliorate experiences of extreme alienation by narrating their worlds with a mind towards the possibility that their identifications can always be otherwise. The essay closes with an exploration of José Lezama Lima's formulation of fijeza --a poetic point of definition in time--in the poetic novel, Paradiso, to consider a model of poetical thinking within the ambit of everyday life that can be practically applied to address "modern" alienation.