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This article engages with the ongoing debate in literary studies around the “new formalism” by developing a novel conception of form as such through a consideration of its relationship to the physical materiality by which it is transmitted. It uses a reading of Rainer Maria Rilke's famous "Archaic Torso of Apollo" to weave the late phenomenological thinking of Maurice Merleau-Ponty together with Catherine Malabou’s contemporary post-deconstructive work on plasticity. In doing so, it develops a concept of “thickness” that describes the constitution of form through divergence rather than consolidation. It ultimately offers a more precise and flexible critical vocabulary for describing the experience of literary form’s spatial and temporal materialization.