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This collection of essays takes on two of the most pressing questions that face the discipline of Comparative Literature today: “Why compare?” and “Where do we go from here?”. At a difficult economic time, when universities all over the world once again have to justify the social as well as academic value of their work, it is crucial that we consider the function of comparison itself in reaching across disciplinary and cultural boundaries.
The essays written for this book are by researchers from all over the world, and range in topic from the problem of translating biblical Hebrew to modern atheism, from Freud to Marlene van Niekerk, from the formation of one person’s identity to experiences of globalisation, and the relation of history to fiction. Together they display the ground-breaking, ideas which lie at the heart of an act as deceptively simple as comparing one piece of writing to another.
Hybrid Spatialities and Multiple Temporalities
Volume Editor: Leslie Kavanaugh
The twentieth century saw many revolutions. Various transformations in the political, economic, social, technological and artistic domains not only inaugurated new eras, or at least discourses about new eras; they also often entailed a radical reorientation in the very conceptions by which any revolution could be thought. This beautifully edited collection of essays addresses itself to the particular revolution by which we came to understand the unity of space and time as ontological categories.
The twelve papers collected in this volume explore the consequences of conceptions of time and its relationship to space. Although originating from the revolution in mathematics and theoretical physics, these essays extend the thinking of space-time in a multi-disciplinary approach through the philosophy of space and time, social geography, post-Marxian social theory, new network theory, the philosophy of art and culture, musicology, evolutionary biology, historiography, psychoanalytic theory, and comparative literature. The result is a fascinating snapshot of a nearly universal transformation, but one that was only slowly realized, as the debates in one field reverberated across a vast terrain of discourse and discipline. In tracing the varied responses to the developments emanating from theoretical physics, the essays in this volume reveal how discontinuous but profound shifts in knowledge and aesthetics ultimately converge on a radically transformed horizon.
Contributors are: Peter Galison, Richard T. W. Arthur, Nader El-Bizri, Chunglin Kwa, Leslie Kavanaugh, Mary Lynne Ellis, Patricia Locke, Sander van Maas, Raviv Ganchrow, Josef Früchtl, M. Christine Boyer, and Antoine Picon.
Author: Daniel Barnett
This book offers sweeping and cogent arguments as to why analytic philosophers should take experimental cinema seriously as a medium for illuminating mechanisms of meaning in language. Using the analogy of the movie projector, Barnett deconstructs all communication acts into functions of interval, repetition and context. He describes how Wittgenstein’s concepts of family resemblance and language games provide a dynamic perspective on the analysis of acts of reference. He then develops a hyper-simplified formula of movement as meaning to discuss, with true equivalence, the process of reference as it occurs in natural language, technical language, poetic language, painting, photography, music, and of course, cinema. Barnett then applies his analytic technique to an original perspective on cine-poetics based on Paul Valery’s concept of omnivalence, and to a projection of how this style of analysis, derived from analog cinema, can help us clarify our view of the digital mediasphere and its relation to consciousness.
Informed by the philosophy of Quine, Dennett, Merleau-Ponty as well as the later work of Wittgenstein, among others, he uses the film work of Stan Brakhage, Tony Conrad, A.K. Dewdney, Nathaniel Dorsky, Ken Jacobs, Owen Land, Saul Levine, Gregory Markopoulos Michael Snow, and the poetry of Basho, John Cage, John Cayley and Paul Valery to illustrate the power of his unique perspective on meaning.
Author: Havi Carel
Life and Death in Freud and Heidegger argues that mortality is a fundamental structuring element in human life. The ordinary view of life and death regards them as dichotomous and separate. This book explains why this view is unsatisfactory and presents a new model of the relationship between life and death that sees them as interlinked. Using Heidegger’s concept of being towards death and Freud’s notion of the death drive, it demonstrates the extensive influence death has on everyday life and gives an account of its structural and existential significance. By bringing the two perspectives together, this book presents a reading of death that establishes its significance for life, creates a meeting point for philosophical and psychoanalytical perspectives, and examines the problems and strengths of each. It then puts forth a unified view, based on the strengths of each position and overcoming the problems of each. Finally, it works out the ethical consequences of this view. This volume is of interest for philosophers, mental health practitioners and those working in the field of death studies.
Japan, Russia, and Turkey are major examples of countries with different ethnic, religious, and cultural background that embarked on the path of modernization without having been colonized by a Western country. In all three cases, national consciousness has played a significant role in this context. The project of Modernity is obviously of European origin, but is it essentially European? Does modernization imply loss of a country’s cultural or national identity? If so, what is the “fate” of the modernization process in these cases? The presence of the idea and reality of civil society can be considered a real marker of Modernity in this respect, because it presupposes the development of liberalism, individualism and human rights. But are these compatible with nationalism and with the idea of a national religion?
These questions are the more pressing, as Japan is considered part of the Western world in many respects, and Russia and Turkey are defining their relation to the European Union in different ways. An investigation of these three countries, set off against more general reflections, sheds light on the possibilities or limitations of modernization n a non-European context.