The "texts" of Russian artist and thinker Daniil Kharms (1905-1942) were so many and varied and often unique (narrative, dramatic, philosophical, poetic, mathematical, pictographic, diagrammatic, musical, biographical) that they defied categorization—and, thus, thorough study or appreciation—through much of the twentieth century. This book, the first in English to view Kharms’s oeuvre in its entirety, is also the first to offer a complete, inclusive, and coherent understanding of the overall project of this artist and writer now considered a major figure in the modernist canon of Europe.
Roger Wall University of Alaska Press, 2019 Library of Congress PS3623.A4428 | Dewey Decimal 813.6
For D.E., only two certainties exist: his grandfather is dead and life will never be the same. During-the-Event is a dystopian adventure that roams across a fallen United States, introducing an unforgettable cast of characters along the way. In the near future, climate change has ravaged the United States, leading the government to overcorrect through culls and relocation. Those who survive the mandated destruction are herded into “habitable production zones,” trading their freedom for illusions of security. The few who escape learn quickly that the key to survival is to stay hidden in the corners of the country. For seventeen years, During-the-Event, or D.E., has lived free in a pastoral life with his grandfather in North Dakota. But when death reaches their outpost. D.E. is forced on a journey that will change his life—and reveal surprises about his past.
Once taught that strangers are only sources of pain, D.E. must learn to trust the people he meets on his journey. During-the-Event is a soaring coming-of-age story that grapples with achingly familiar issues: coming to terms with loss and loneliness, finding what our identities really mean, and searching for love in an often strange and bewildering world.
In the Dutch Republic, in its Baroque forms of art, two aesthetic formal modes, theatre and drama, were dynamically related to two political concepts, event and moment. The Dutch version of the Baroque is characterised by a fascination with this world regarded as one possibility out of a plurality of potential worlds. It is this fascination that explains the coincidence in the Dutch Republic, strange at first sight, of Baroque exuberance, irregularity, paradox, and vertigo with scientific rigor, regularity, mathematical logic, and rational distance. In giving a new historical perspective on the Baroque as a specifically Dutch republican one, this study also offers a new and systematic approach towards the interactions among the notions of theatricality, dramatisation, moment, and event: concepts that are currently at the centre of philosophical and political debates but the modern articulation of which can best be considered in the explorations of history and world in the Dutch Republic."Our idea of Dutch history will never recover from reading this book. As in Korsten's conception of the Baroque, reality is bifurcated, sudden possibilities are revealed and must be faced. Instead of the staid prudence and moderation that make our image of Dutch history both comforting and numbing, Korsten presents us with the harsh and theatrical reality of a Dutch Baroque. Tyranny, slavery, execution, colonialism, censorship and obscenity constitute a lurid new world view, made up of strangely familiar remnants of the old. It bears a striking resemblance to the vivid colours of the many paintings he uses to demonstrate his argument, once the thick layers of yellowed varnish have been removed from them. It is fantastic and bizarre and leaves the reader perplexed and disturbed. " - Inger Leemans, professor of Cultural History, VU Amsterdam"This is an original and innovative book that will take the study of Dutch culture to a different level. It is an excellent example of the relevance of analysing early modern literature and the visual arts through the lens of 20th century philosophy all the while remaining historically rooted." - Hanneke Grootenboer, professor of the History of Art, University of Oxford"The publication of Korsten's book is a true event in its own right. A Dutch Republican Baroque urges us to rethink some of the more comforting myths about our 'golden' seventeenth century. The book will get on the nerves and under the skin of many of its readers: I take that as a sign of its unquestionable quality.The book combines deft readings of the works of Dutch seventeenth-century painters (Hals), poets (Huygens), playwrights (Vondel) and philosophers (Spinoza), with an astute conceptual analysis of a historical moment: the very beginnings of the man-made modern age. A Dutch Republican Baroque is a unique feat, yet everything one would expect of a truly good book: Korsten's work is provocative, wide-ranging, astute and inspiring. It debunks myths and opens up new avenues of exploration. It reads the past against the grain and in doing so sheds light on our present. The book's analyses of the early-modern Dutch fascination and discomfort with issues of slavery and torture will force us to reconsider our own investment in times of exploitation and terror." - Jürgen Pieters, professor of Literature, Ghent University
In this groundbreaking volume, Krzysztof Ziarek rethinks modern experience by bringing together philosophical critiques of modernity and avant-garde poetry. Ziarek explores, through selective readings of avant-garde poetry, the key aspects of the radical critique of experience: technology, everydayness, event, and sexual difference. To that extent, The Historicity of Experience is less a book about the avant-garde than a critique of experience through the avant-garde. Ziarek reads the avant-garde in dialogue with the work of some of the major critics of modernity (Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Jean-François Lyotard, and Luce Irigaray) to show how avant-garde experiments bear critically on the issue of modern experience and its technological organization.
The four poets Ziarek considers-Gertrude Stein, Velimir Khlebnikov, Miron Biaoszewski, and Susan Howe-demonstrate the broad reach of and variety of forms taken by the avant-garde revision of experience and aesthetics. Moreover, this quartet illustrates how the main operative concepts and strategies of the avant-garde underpinned the practices of canonical writers. A profound philosophical meditation on language, modernity, and the everyday, The Historicity of Experience offers a fundamental reconceptualization of the avant-garde in relation to experience.
September 11, the subway bombings in Europe, and Hurricane Katrina occurred in rapid succession. The outsized relationship between their historical significance and chronological span also marked these episodes as “events.” Focusing on the recent rise of “the event” as a form of experience and its simultaneous reemergence as a central term in critical theory, this special issue of differences links contemporary critical discourse on the event—Badiou, Sewell, Derrida—to long-standing conversations in philosophy, history, literary studies, media studies, and cultural theory. It also indicates how event analysis might begin to provide an analytic framework different from the conventional modes of historicism currently dominating cultural studies.
One essay identifies flash points when “the event” has preoccupied Western thought from Plato to Freud. Others show how particular events—Hurricane Katrina, the Algerian War, the Haitian Revolution—betray the inadequacy of traditional nation-based frameworks for understanding the course of history. Media representations also are a central concern, as in one contributor’s analysis of how child abductions turn some (white girls’) bodies into events while other (brown girls’) bodies are denied that status. The final essay is a meditation on the end of the world that explores how the idea of the end as event transforms everyday language into cryptic signs.
Contributors: Andrew Aisenberg, Wai Chee Dimock, Jonathan Elmer, Akira Lippit, Lloyd Pratt,Rebecca Wanzo, Hayden White
Nobel Prize-winning novelist J. M. Coetzee is one of the most widely taught contemporary writers, but also one of the most elusive. Many critics who have addressed his work have devoted themselves to rendering it more accessible and acceptable, often playing down the features that discomfort and perplex his readers.
Yet it is just these features, Derek Attridge argues, that give Coetzee's work its haunting power and offer its greatest rewards. Attridge does justice to this power and these rewards in a study that serves as an introduction for readers new to Coetzee and a stimulus for thought for those who know his work well. Without overlooking the South African dimension of his fiction, Attridge treats Coetzee as a writer who raises questions of central importance to current debates both within literary studies and more widely in the ethical arena. Implicit throughout the book is Attridge's view that literature, more than philosophy, politics, or even religion, does singular justice to our ethical impulses and acts. Attridge follows Coetzee's lead in exploring a number of issues such as interpretation and literary judgment, responsibility to the other, trust and betrayal, artistic commitment, confession, and the problematic idea of truth to the self.
We have entered a new era of nature. What remains of the frontiers of modern thought that divided the living from the inert, subjectivity from objectivity, the apparent from the real, value from fact, and the human from the nonhuman? Can the great oppositions that presided over the modern invention of nature still claim any cogency? In Nature as Event, Didier Debaise shows how new narratives and cosmologies are necessary to rearticulate that which until now had been separated. Following William James and Alfred North Whitehead, Debaise presents a pluralistic approach to nature. What would happen if we attributed subjectivity and potential to all beings, human and nonhuman? Why should we not consider aesthetics and affect as the fabric that binds all existence? And what if the senses of importance and value were no longer understood to be exclusively limited to the human?
The Novel as Event
Mario Ortiz Robles University of Michigan Press, 2010 Library of Congress PR878.P53R63 2010 | Dewey Decimal 823.709
"The Novel as Event brilliantly does two things: presents a strikingly new theory of the way novels have effect in the social world, and also presents original readings of five major Victorian novels as demonstrations of the way that theory may be exemplified in practice. No other book that I know of does either of these two things in at all the same way."
---J. Hillis Miller, University of California, Irvine
"I have no doubt that this book will become an important part of a renewed questioning of a certain unchallenged historicism prevalent in Victorian novel studies from the beginning."
---Kevin McLaughlin, Brown University
The Novel as Event is a timely reconsideration of the historical role of the Victorian novel from the perspective of its performativity. In a highly original application of the work of Jacques Derrida, Paul de Man, Pierre Bourdieu, Judith Butler, and other readers of J. L. Austin, Mario Ortiz Robles argues that the language of the novel is paramount and that the current emphasis on the representational and physical aspects of the novel tends to obscure this fact. He provides brilliant original readings of five major Victorian novels: Dickens's Our Mutual Friend, Brontë 's Jane Eyre, George Eliot's Middlemarch, Thackeray's Vanity Fair, and Collins's The Woman in White, illustrating that it is impossible to fully grasp the cultural power of the novel, from its role in the cultivation of manners and the conduct of courtship to the consolidation of bourgeois ideology and the construction of the subject, without an adequate account of the performativity of its language. By considering the novel as a linguistic event, Ortiz Robles offers a new explanatory model for understanding how novels intervene materially in the reality they describe, and, in doing so, he seeks to reinvigorate critical debate on the historicity of the realist novel and current methods of cultural criticism. The Novel as Event serves as a well-timed corrective to the narrow historicist approach to the materiality of the novel that currently holds sway.
Mario Ortiz Robles is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Cover art: "Untitled page from Constance Sackville West Album." Courtesy of George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film.
What Is an Event?
Robin Wagner-Pacifici University of Chicago Press, 2017 Library of Congress B105.E7W34 2017 | Dewey Decimal 302.1
We live in a world of breaking news, where at almost any moment our everyday routine can be interrupted by a faraway event. Events are central to the way that individuals and societies experience life. Even life’s inevitable moments—birth, death, love, and war—are almost always a surprise. Inspired by the cataclysmic events of September 11, Robin Wagner-Pacifici presents here a tour de force, an analysis of how events erupt and take off from the ground of ongoing, everyday life, and how they then move across time and landscape.
What Is an Event? ranges across several disciplines, systematically analyzing the ways that events emerge, take shape, gain momentum, flow, and even get bogged down. As an exploration of how events are constructed out of ruptures, it provides a mechanism for understanding eventful forms and flows, from the micro-level of individual life events to the macro-level of historical revolutions, contemporary terrorist attacks, and financial crises. Wagner-Pacifici takes a close look at a number of cases, both real and imagined, through the reports, personal narratives, paintings, iconic images, political posters, sculptures, and novels they generate and through which they live on. What is ultimately at stake for individuals and societies in events, Wagner-Pacifici argues, are identities, loyalties, social relationships, and our very experiences of time and space. What Is an Event? provides a way for us all—as social and political beings living through events, and as analysts reflecting upon them—to better understand what is at stake in the formations and flows of the events that mark and shape our lives.