Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)

By Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter's groundbreaking learn argues that the idea that of "afterness" is a key determine within the notion and aesthetics of modernity. It pursues questions resembling: What does it suggest for anything to "follow" whatever else? Does that which follows mark a transparent holiday with what got here ahead of it, or does it in truth tacitly perpetuate its predecessor as a result of its inevitable indebtedness to the phrases and stipulations of that from which it claims to have departed? certainly, isn't the very act of breaking with, after which following upon, a manner of retroactively developing and fortifying that from which the holiday that set the circulation of following into movement had occurred?

The ebook explores the idea that and circulation of afterness as a privileged but uncanny class via shut readings of writers corresponding to Kant, Kafka, Heidegger, Bloch, Benjamin, Brecht, Adorno, Arendt, Lyotard, and Derrida. It exhibits how the vexed thoughts of afterness, following, and coming after shed new mild on a constellation of recent preoccupations, together with own and cultural reminiscence, translation, images, desire, and the old and conceptual specificity of what has been termed "after Auschwitz." The study's numerous analyses—across a heterogeneous number of sleek writers and thinkers, different historic moments of articulation, and various media—conspire to light up Lyotard's apodictic assertion that "after philosophy comes philosophy. however it has been altered by means of the 'after.'" As Richter's complicated learn demonstrates, a lot hinges on our interpretation of the "after." in any case, our so much basic assumptions bearing on smooth aesthetic illustration, conceptual discourse, neighborhood, subjectivity, and politics are at stake.

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The poetic paintings of Hölderlin, whose writings function a continuing touchstone for Adorno’s aesthetic meditations, offers a for instance for the drawback of allegorical or figurative interpreting. In “Parataxis,” Adorno claims that whereas “Hölderlin’s poetry, like any rigorous poetry, calls for philosophy so one can convey to mild its fact content material, any recourse to a philosophy that basically appropriates the reality content material during this or that demeanour is unusable. ”15 whereas no poetic fact content material can emerge within the absence of philosophy, it truly is both the case that no philosophy can do justice to poetic fact whereas making claims to the steadiness of its that means. during this context, we could bear in mind the admonition that prefaces Hölderlin’s epistolary novel Hyperion (1797–1799): “I want to promise to this publication the affection of the Germans. yet i'm afraid that a few will learn it like a compendium, an excessive amount of excited about its fabula docet, whereas others will take all of it too frivolously, and either teams will fail to appreciate it. He who simply smells my plant doesn't comprehend it, and he who plucks it simply to benefit from it doesn't realize it both. The dissolution of dissonances in a undeniable personality is neither an issue of mere mirrored image nor considered one of empty excitement [leere Lust]. ”16 it's consequently now not adequate to assert that works of art find the money for excitement, even if the main rigorous and gorgeous ones definitely do, some degree of which Adorno himself is keenly acutely aware. As we research in Aesthetic concept, “whoever enjoys artistic endeavors concretistically is a philistine; expressions similar to ‘a ceremonial dinner for the ears [Ohrenschmaus]’ provide him away. but if the final lines of enjoyment have been extirpated, the query as to the aim of works of art will be a humiliation. ”17 yet, past the excitement precept, what's at stake for Adorno’s aesthetic conception in pondering during the relation among philosophical hypothesis and the murals is the fact that expresses itself, in that very relation, not just another way but additionally because the singularity of a specific shape that, whereas immune to verification by way of common sense by myself, nonetheless deals a method of complexly mediated perception that's unavailable to the conceptual phrases of traditional speculative discourse. If this different type of fact is in simple terms an phantasm, then it truly is an phantasm that itself indicates, as a adverse strength, whatever except mere garden-variety phantasm, the very phantasm of the illusionless. for the reason that for Adorno, “truth has paintings because the phantasm of the illusionless. ”18 Insofar as fact “has” paintings during this approach, the connection among the philosophical and the cultured can't yet have epistemo-political implications. As Christoph Menke and others have persuasively verified, Adorno’s so-called aesthetic negativity can't be diminished to the type of neo-Marxian interventionist aesthetic that his good friend Herbert Marcuse encouraged any further than it may be assimilated right into a only aestheticist impulse that will elide the artwork’s politically charged relation to the cloth situatedness that first subsidized it.

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