cover of book

The Virtual Point of Freedom: Essays on Politics, Aesthetics, and Religion
by Lorenzo Chiesa
Northwestern University Press, 2016
Cloth: 978-0-8101-3374-7 | eISBN: 978-0-8101-3375-4 | Paper: 978-0-8101-3373-0
Library of Congress Classification JC585.C47 2016
Dewey Decimal Classification 323.44

The principal motif that runs throughout The Virtual Point of Freedom is a confrontation with the discourse of freedom, or, more specifically, the falsely transgressive ideal of a total emancipation that would know no constraints. Far from delineating a supposed “subject of freedom” that would allegedly overcome alienation once and for all, the seven chapters in Chiesa’s book seek to unfold an innovative reading of the dialectical coincidence between dis-alienation and re-alienation in politics, aesthetics, and religion, using psychoanalysis as a privileged critical tool. Topics include Pier Paolo Pasolini’s attack on the visual and biological degeneration of bodies brought about by pleasure-seeking “liberal” consumerism, Giorgio Agamben’s and Slavoj Žižek’s conflicting negotiations with the Christian tradition of “poverty” and “inappropriateness” as potential redemption, and Alain Badiou’s inability to develop a philosophical anthropology that could sustain a coherent politics of emancipation. The book concludes by sketching out the figure of the partisan, a subject who makes it possible to conceive of an intersection between provisional morality and radical politics.

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