The sense of something more in art and experience

Elaine Auyoung

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This essay explores an aesthetic tension at the heart of a reader or perceiver's encounter with a fixed set of verbal or visual cues. A few details or brushstrokes can give rise to the idea of something more because of our cognitive readiness to identify objects that have been represented to us in only limited ways. Mimetic representation relies on our everyday ability to form beliefs about what is not available to the senses based on what is represented. At the same time, this same readiness to identify possibilities that are only implied brings perceivers up against the limits of representation. While a few cues can be remarkably effective at suggesting something more, this something continues to remain withheld. The second half of the essay examines instances of this predicament, with particular attention to its recurrent representation in the work of Thomas Hardy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-565
Number of pages19
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

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