In this volume fifteen eminent scholars illuminate the broad and often underappreciated variety of the nineteenth-century Danish thinker Søren Kierkegaard’s engagements with literature and the arts.
The essays in Kierkegaard, Literature, and the Arts, contextualized with an insightful introduction by Eric Ziolkowski, explore Kierkegaard’s relationship to literature (poetry, prose, and storytelling), the performing arts (theater, music, opera, and dance), and the visual arts, including film. The collection is rounded out with a comparative section that considers Kierkegaard in juxtaposition with a romantic poet (William Blake), a modern composer (Arnold Schoenberg), and a contemporary singer-songwriter (Bob Dylan). Kierkegaard was as much an aesthetic thinker as a philosopher, and his philosophical writings are complemented by his literary and music criticism.
Kierkegaard, Literature, and the Arts will offer much of interest to scholars concerned with Kierkegaard as well as teachers, performers, and readers in the various aesthetic fields discussed.
CONTRIBUTORS: Christopher B. Barnett, Martijn Boven, Anne Margrete Fiskvik, Joakim Garff, Ronald M. Green, Peder Jothen, Ragni Linnet, Jamie A. Lorentzen, Edward F. Mooney, George Pattison, Nils Holger Petersen, Howard Pickett, Marcia C. Robinson, James Rovira
Emmanuel Levinas’s interview with Françoise Armengaud in 1988 is one of the only statements we have from the philosopher, who became influential in various disciplines through his ethics that focuses on the fine arts specifically. Presented in English for the first time here, this interview brings us Levinas’s understanding of “obliteration” as an uncanny, disruptive, and even “unavailable” concept. Discussing the work of the French sculptor Sacha Sosno, Levinas parses the complex relationship between ethics and aesthetics, examining how they play out in artistic operations and practices. In doing so, he turns away from the “ease and lighthearted casualness of the beautiful” to shed light instead on the processes of material wear and tear and the traces of repair that go into the creation and maintenance of works of art, and which ultimately give them a profound uniqueness of presence. This evocative interview uncovers a hidden thread of aesthetic thinking in Levinas’s work and introduces a new way of looking at artistic practices in general.
Senses of Landscape
John Sallis Northwestern University Press, 2015 Library of Congress BH301.L3S25 2015 | Dewey Decimal 704.943601
Beginning with the assertion that earth is the elemental place that grants an abode to humans and to other living things, in Senses of Landscape the philosopher John Sallis turns to landscapes, and in particular to their representation in painting, to present a powerful synthetic work.
Senses of Landscape proffers three kinds of analyses, which, though distinct, continually intersect in the course of the book. The first consists of extended analyses of distinctive landscapes from four exemplary painters, Paul Cezanne, Caspar David Friedrich, Paul Klee, and Guo Xi. Sallis then turns to these artists’ own writings—treatises, essays, and letters—about art in general and landscape painting in particular, and he sets them into a philosophical context. The third kind of analysis draws both on Sallis’s theoretical writings and on the canonical texts in the philosophy of art (Kant, Schelling, Hegel, and Heidegger). These analyses present for a wide audience a profound sense of landscape and of the earthly abode of the human.
In Unconsolable Contemporary Paul Rabinow continues his explorations of "a philosophic anthropology of the contemporary." Defining the contemporary as a moving ratio in which the modern becomes historical, Rabinow shows how an anthropological ethos of the contemporary can be realized by drawing on the work of art historians, cultural critics, social theorists, and others, thereby inventing a methodology he calls anthropological assemblage. He focuses on the work and persona of German painter Gerhard Richter, demonstrating how reflecting on Richter's work provides rich insights into the practices and stylization of what, following Aby Warburg, one might call "the afterlife of the modern." Rabinow opens with analyses of Richter's recent Birkenau exhibit: both the artwork and its critical framing. He then chronicles Richter's experiments in image-making as well as his subtle inclusion of art historical and critical discourses about the modern. This, Rabinow contends, enables Richter to signal his awareness of the stakes of such theorizing while refusing the positioning of his work by modernist critical theorists. In this innovative work, Rabinow elucidates the ways meaning is created within the contemporary.
Violence and Splendor
Alphonso Lingis Northwestern University Press, 2011 Library of Congress BD632.L575 2011 | Dewey Decimal 191
In subject and method, Alphonso Lingis’s work has always defied easy categorization, largely owing to the interplay of theory and praxis inherent in his research. Violence and Splendor is a series of reflections grouped into five areas of inquiry: “Spaces Within Spaces,” “Snares for the Eyes,” “The Sacred,” “Violence,” and “Splendor.” “Spaces Within Spaces” explores multiple spaces of our lives—the space of nomads, historical space, geological space, the cosmic space of religious ritual, and the metaphysical habitats of inmates of insane asylums. “Snares for the Eyes” analyzes the inner space of our bodies and the inner spaces of things.
“The Sacred” studies the ways death—the death of others and our own death—fascinates and energizes us. It exhibits the glory in violence and sacrilege. The book culminates in “Splendor,” a study of collective performances that create splendor. Concerning itself most immediately with philosophy, psychology, aesthetics, anthropology, and the theory of religion, Violence and Splendor bridges the discourses of continental philosophy and cross-cultural studies. Further drawing insights from both Western and non-Western traditions, it brings such diverse fields as psychology, art and aesthetics, botany, politics, history, zoology, and religious theory into a new and significant dialogue about the nature of humanity.