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This book makes the attempt to wed reason and the poetic. The tool for this attempt is Rational Poetic Experimentalism (RPE), which is introduced and explored in this book. According to RPE, it makes sense to look for poetic elements in human reality (including reason), outside of the realm of imaginative literature. Provocatively, RPE contends that philosophy’s search for truth has not been a great success so far. So, why not experiment with philosophical concepts and look for thought-provoking ideas by employing the principles of RPE, instead of fruitlessly searching for truths using conventional methods?
What role can philosophy play in a world dominated by neoliberalism and globalization? Must it join universalist ideologies as it did in past centuries? Or might it turn to ethnophilosophy and postmodern fragmentation? Micro and Macro Philosophy argues that universalist cosmopolitanism and egocentric culturalism are not the only alternatives. Western philosophy has created a false dichotomy. A better solution can be found in an organic philosophy that functions through micro-macro interactions. According to biologists, the twentieth century was the century of the gene, while the twenty-first century is destined to be the century of the organic. Micro and Macro Philosophy attempts to establish such a view in philosophy: by highlighting micro-macro patterns found in history, it seeks to design new ways of "organic thinking" in the human sciences.
On Autopoietic Modernities
In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture, contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Žižek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will be of value to all who take an interest in cultural modernity—indeed, all who recognize that “modernity” was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies
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Priya Wadhera’s Original Copies in Georges Perec and Andy Warhol is the first book to explore striking similarities between the works of these celebrated figures of the twentieth century. Copies abound in Perec’s œuvre, where pastiches, paintings, and intertexts dialogue with the history of copying in the past and present, in literature and in art. Both here and in Warhol’s works, the source of the copies is difficult to pinpoint, shrouded in a fog linked to death. This remarkable parallel provides insight into their widely-admired works and a postmodern aesthetic where the original is stripped of its value and the copy reigns supreme. In this study of the original and the copy, Wadhera illuminates the nature of art itself.
Sleep in Modernist and Postmodern Representation
Nathaniel Wallace’s Scanning the Hypnoglyph chronicles a contemporary genre that exploits sleep’s evocative dimensions. While dreams, sleeping nudes, and other facets of the dormant state were popular with artists of the early twentieth century (and long before), sleep experiences have given rise to an even wider range of postmodern artwork. Scanning the Hypnoglyph first assesses the modernist framework wherein the sleeping subject typically enjoys firm psychic grounding. As postmodernism begins, subjective space is fragmented, the representation of sleep reflecting the trend. Among other topics, this book demonstrates how portrayals of dormant individuals can reveal imprints of the self. Gender issues are taken up as well. “Mainstream,” heterosexual representations are considered along with depictions of gay, lesbian, and androgynous sleepers.
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The Holocaust is often said to be unrepresentable. Yet since the 1990s, a new generation of Jewish American writers have been returning to this history again and again, insisting on engaging with it in highly playful, comic, and “impious” ways. Focusing on the fiction of Michael Chabon, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, and Nathan Englander, this book suggests that this literature cannot simply be dismissed as insensitive or improper. It argues that these Jewish American authors engage with the Holocaust in ways that renew and ensure its significance for contemporary generations. These ways, moreover, are intricately connected to efforts of finding new means of expressing Jewish American identity, and of moving beyond the increasingly apparent problems of postmodernism.
Since cinema is a composite language, describing a movie is a complex challenge for critics and writers, and greatly differs from the ancient and successful genre of the ekphrasis, the literary description of a visual work of art. Imaginary Films in Literature deals with a specific and significant case within this broad category: the description of imaginary, non-existent movies – a practice that is more widespread than one might expect, especially in North American postmodern fiction. Along with theoretical contributions, the book includes the analyses of some case studies focusing on the borders between the visual and the literary, intermedial practices of hybridization, the limits of representation, and other related notions such as “memory”, “fragmentation”, “desire”, “genre”, “authorship”, and “censorship”.
Philosophical and Axiological Studies on the Avant-Garde, Pragmatism, and Postmodernism
The book presents five philosophical and axiological studies devoted to the relationship between aesthetics and politics. It shows this relationship throughout the works of some avant-gardists, pragmatists, and postmodernists. It is also a voice in the discussion about the meaning of the fine arts and aesthetics in the context of the political aims and norms. This voice claims that the political dimension of art and aesthetics should be studied much more seriously than it has been till today, and needs more courageous re-interpretations and re-readings.
Beauty, Sublimity, and the (Post) Modern ‘Third Aesthetic’
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This compact, indispensable overview answers a vexed question: Why do so many works of modern and postmodern literature and art seem designed to appear ‘strange’, and how can they still cause pleasure in the beholder? To help overcome the initial barrier caused by this ‘strangeness’, the general reader is given an initial, non-technical description of the ‘aesthetic of the strange’ as it is experienced in the reading or viewing process. There follows a broad survey of modern and postmodern trends, illustrating their staggering variety and making plain the manifold methods and strategies adopted by writers and artists to ‘make it strange’. The book closes with a systematic summary of the theoretical underpinnings of the ‘aesthetic of the strange’, focussing on the ways in which it differs from both the earlier ‘aesthetic of the beautiful’ and the ‘aesthetic of the sublime’. It is made amply clear that the strangeness characteristic of modern and postmodern art has ushered in an entirely new, ‘third’ kind of aesthetic – one that has undergone further transformation over the past two decades. Beyond its usefulness as a practical introduction to the ‘aesthetic of the strange’, the present study also takes up the most recent, cutting-edge aspects of scholarly debate, while initiates are offered an original approach to the theoretical implications of this seminal phenomenon.
Attending the Wake of Postmodernism
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Have we moved beyond postmodernism? Did postmodernism lose its oppositional value when it became a cultural dominant? While focusing on questions such as these, the articles in this collection consider the possibility that the death of a certain version of postmodernism marks a renewed attempt to re-negotiate and perhaps re-embrace many of the cultural, literary and theoretical assumptions that postmodernism seemly denied outright. Including contributions from some of the leading scholars in the field – N. Katherine Hayles, John D. Caputo, Paul Maltby, Jane Flax, among others – this collection ultimately comes together to perform a certain work of mourning. Through their explorations of this current epistemological shift in narrative and theoretical production, these articles work to “get over” postmodernism while simultaneously celebrating a certain postmodern inheritance, an inheritance that can offer us important avenues to understanding and affecting contemporary culture and society.