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This interdisciplinary volume of essays explores how the notion of time varies across disciplines by examining variance as a defining feature of temporalities in cultural, creative, and scholarly contexts. Featuring a President’s Address by philosopher David Wood, it begins with critical reassessments of J.T. Fraser’s hierarchical theory of time through the lens of Anthropocene studies, philosophy, ecological theory, and ecological literature; proceeds to variant narratives in fiction, video games, film, and graphic novels; and concludes by measuring time’s variance with tools as different as incense clocks and computers, and by marking variance in music, film, and performance art.
The Study of Time XVI: Time’s Urgency celebrates the 50th anniversary of the International Society for the Study of Time. It includes a keynote speech by renowned physicist Julian Barbour, a dialogue between British author David Mitchell, Katie Paterson and ISST’s previous president Paul Harris. The volume is divided into dialogues and papers that directly address the issue of urgency and time scales from various disciplines.

This book offers a unique perspective on the contemporary status of the interdisciplinary study of time. It will open new paths of inquiry for different approaches to the important issues of narrative structure and urgency. These are themes that are becoming increasingly relevant during our times.

Contributors are Julian Barbour, Dennis Costa, Kerstin Cuhls, Ileana da Silva, Margaret K. Devinney, Sonia Front, Peter A. Hancock, Paul Harris, Rose Harris-Birtill, David Mitchell, Carlos Montemayor, Jo Alyson Parker, Katie Paterson, Walter Schweidler, Raji C. Steineck, Daniela Tan, Frederick Turner, Thomas P. Weissert, Marc Wolterbeek, and Barry Wood.
Disassembling the Celebrity Figure: Credibility and the Incredible questions the credibility of celebrity brands, exploring how fandoms depend on perceptions and representations of authenticity. It asks how authenticity is projected by global celebrities, and how fans consume these carefully curated personas, and explores how the media breaks down barriers between celebrities and fans. It presents a discussion of celebrities as brands, exploring how their images are maintained after they pass away. It also offers analysis of the ways in which historical figures are later reconstructed as celebrities, and explores how their images are circulated and consumed across contemporary media. Ultimately, the book examines authenticity in celebrity culture by looking at fandom, media representation, branding and celebrity deaths.

Contributors are Marie Josephine Bennett, Lise Dilling-Nielsen, Kylo-Patrick R. Hart, Mingyi Hou, Renata Iwicka, Ephraim Das Janssen, Magdalen Wing-Chi Ki, Celia Lam, Mirella Longo, Aliah Mansor, Jackie Raphael and Millicent Weber.
Hungarian Essays on Literature, Art, and Democratic Transition, 1945-1948
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When the Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic György Lukács returned to Hungary from Moscow after World War II, he engaged in a highly active phase of writing and speaking about the democratic culture needed to exorcise the remnants of fascism and to create the conditions for the advance of socialism in Central Europe. His essays of the period, including the influential volume Literature and Democracy, appear here for the first time in English translation. Engaged with questions of realist and modernist world-views in art, the relations of literary history to politics and social history, and the role of cultural intellectuals in public life, these essays offer a new look at one of the most influential Marxist thinkers of the twentieth century.
Presence of Mind, Failure to Comprehend
In Walter Benjamin. Presence of Mind, Failure to Comprehend Stéphane Symons offers an innovative reading of the work of German philosopher, essayist and literary critic Walter Benjamin (1892-1940). Oftentimes interpreted as being either of a theological (Jewish-Messianic) or a materialist (neo-Marxist) nature, Benjamin’s writings are here characterized as "neither a-theological, nor immediately theological."

Starting from Benjamin’s philosophy of history, his interpretation of the work of Franz Kafka, his study on the German Baroque and his critique of modernity, Walter Benjamin. Presence of Mind, Failure to Comprehend zooms in on the issue of how a belief in the possibility of redemption and an attentiveness [Aufmerksamkeit] to expressions of an absolute force can endure within a universe that is nevertheless confronted as unfulfilled.
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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.
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For the last twenty years ecology, the last great political movement of the 20th century, has fired the imaginations not only of political activists but of popular movements throughout the industrialised world. EcoMedia is an enquiry into the popular mediations of environmental concerns in popular film and television since the 1980s. Arranged in a series of case studies on bio-security, relationships with animals, bioethics and biological sciences, over-fishing, eco-terrorism, genetic modification and global warming, EcoMedia offers close readings of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings, Miyazake's Princess Mononoke, The Perfect Storm, X-Men and X2, The Day After Tomorrow and the BBC's drama Edge of Darkness and documentary The Blue Planet. Drawing on the thinking of Flusser, Luhmann, Latour, Agamben and Bookchin, EcoMedia discusses issues from whether animals can draw and why we like to draw animals, to how narrative films can imagine global processes, and whether wonder is still an ethical pleasure. Building on the thesis that popular film and television can tell us a great deal about the state of contemporary beliefs and anxieties, the book builds towards an argument that the polis, the human world, cannot survive without a three way partnership with physis and techne, the green world and the technological.
Tout le monde en conviendra : lire n'est pas une activité de tout repos. La vue y est certes sollicitée, et même d'emblée, mais c'est pour aussitôt s'éclipser. S'il était purement vu, le texte (dans son sens étendu d'objet de l'interprétation) ne serait pas encore lu. La lecture proprement dite aura lieu dès l'instant où je cesse de voir ce qui m'est donné à voir pour me faufiler au-delà. J'embrasse à présent une réalité tri-dimensionnelle, je deviens le texte et le texte m'épouse, je flaire et je ressens, j'hallucine et je jubile, bref : je lis. La lecture sera synesthésique ou ne sera pas. Mon voyeurisme n'est plus trivial mais absolu. Or ce don de voyance que je m'accorde pour pallier mon aveuglement du départ n'est pas sans risques : je ne suis à l'abri ni de la méprise ni de la foi aveugle. Et c'est là le côté ironique de toute lecture. On a beau s'investir dans l'oeuvre, tôt ou tard l'enchantement sera rompu. Je me vois en train de lire, donc je ne lis plus. Le texte me renvoie soudain à mes propres limites. Il n'empêche que cet ébranlement du sujet soit souvent déclencheur d'une expérience esthétique, expérience qui porte également un enseignement : la lecture aujourd'hui engage quiconque s'y adonne à être prêt à abdiquer à chaque instant ou, du moins, à respecter l'illisible et l'inappropriable.
L'aboutissement de ce travail ce confond avec son présupposé majeur : inutile de vouloir maintenir le clivage entre lecture textuelle et lecture tout court (d'une image, du monde, d'un corps désiré, etc.), ce sont leurs empiètements qui restituent à ce geste ancestral et sans doute universel son souffle et son ampleur. Des scènes de perception entravée, lacunaire ou défectueuse, glanées dans le patrimoine littéraire et plastique contemporain (Proust, Cocteau, Michaux, Calvino, Manganelli, De Chirico, Alechinsky, Fuentes, Biély, Nabokov, Gombrowicz et tant d'autres) et appréhendées comme autant de simulacres de l'expérience de lecture, nous ont permis de cerner l'activité lectorielle au plus proche des textes.
Actuality and Virtuality in the Relations between Word, Image and Sound / Actualité et virtualité dans les rapports entre le verbe, l’image et le son
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The title of this book, Language and Beyond, suggests a dynamic relationship between two poles in which language is confronted with an otherness that is apparently fundamental to it, and towards which it is seen to be reaching. But what is the beyond of language? Is it an object or an image? Do images, visual or aural, actually constitute a beyond of language? The interdependence of words might appear to perpetuate an absence instead, and yet signs can also be seen to establish a presence by their very materiality. The articles in this collection investigate and therefore postulate some form of dialogue between word and image, but they also test semiotic borders, examining the various shades of the interdependence, conflict or dominance, and the orientation of the relationship.

Ce livre s'adresse aux spécialistes, chercheurs et étudiants, ainsi qu'à un public plus large, aux lecteurs ouverts aux théories, méthodes et pratiques de la recherche interdisciplinaire. Son titre suggère un rapport dynamique entre le langage et ses au-delàs: une bipolarité tour à tour assumée et transgressée, voire intériorisée. Mais quels sont ces au-delàs? Et comment les objets, images, sons ou représentations mentales sont-ils investis ou réinvestis par le langage? Dès lors que la nature séquentielle de ce dernier semble souligner le caractère dérivé et marginal de ses au-delàs, il suffit au contraire de la matérialité même des signes, pour les projeter au coeur de l'expression verbale.
Les articles de ce recueil postulent un dialogue entre le mot et l'image, mais scrutent également les confins des systèmes de signes, les modes et degrés de leurs interdépendances et de leurs oppositions.