The Fire and the Tale

Author: Giorgio Agamben
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 150360165X
Format: PDF
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What is at stake in literature? Can we identify the fire that our stories have lost, but that they strive, at all costs, to rediscover? And what is the philosopher's stone that writers, with the passion of alchemists, struggle to forge in their word furnaces? For Giorgio Agamben, who suggests that the parable is the secret model of all narrative, every act of creation tenaciously resists creation, thereby giving each work its strength and grace. The ten essays brought together here cover works by figures ranging from Aristotle to Paul Klee and illustrate what urgently drives Agamben's current research. As is often the case with his writings, their especial focus is the mystery of literature, of reading and writing, and of language as a laboratory for conceiving an ethico-political perspective that places us beyond sovereign power.

What Is Philosophy

Author: Giorgio Agamben
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503604055
Format: PDF
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In attempting to answer the question posed by this book's title, Giorgio Agamben does not address the idea of philosophy itself. Rather, he turns to the apparently most insignificant of its components: the phonemes, letters, syllables, and words that come together to make up the phrases and ideas of philosophical discourse. A summa, of sorts, of Agamben's thought, the book consists of five essays on five emblematic topics: the Voice, the Sayable, the Demand, the Proem, and the Muse. In keeping with the author's trademark methodology, each essay weaves together archaeological and theoretical investigations: to a patient reconstruction of how the concept of language was invented there corresponds an attempt to restore thought to its place within the voice; to an unusual interpretation of the Platonic Idea corresponds a lucid analysis of the relationship between philosophy and science, and of the crisis that both are undergoing today. In the end, there is no universal answer to what is an impossible or inexhaustible question, and philosophical writing—a problem Agamben has never ceased to grapple with—assumes the form of a prelude to a work that must remain unwritten.

The Use of Bodies

Author: Giorgio Agamben
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804798613
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Giorgio Agamben's Homo Sacer was one of the seminal works of political philosophy in recent decades. It was also the beginning of a series of interconnected investigations of staggering ambition and scope, investigating the deepest foundations of Western politics and thought. The Use of Bodies represents the ninth and final volume in this twenty-year undertaking, breaking considerable new ground while clarifying the stakes and implications of the project as a whole. It comprises three major sections. The first uses Aristotle's discussion of slavery as a starting point for radically rethinking notions of selfhood; the second calls for a complete reworking of Western ontology; and the third explores the enigmatic concept of "form-of-life," which is in many ways the motivating force behind the entire Homo Sacer project. Interwoven between these major sections are shorter reflections on individual thinkers (Debord, Foucault, and Heidegger), while the epilogue pushes toward a new approach to political life that breaks with the destructive deadlocks of Western thought. The Use of Bodies represents a true masterwork by one of our greatest living philosophers.

The Mystery of Evil

Author: Giorgio Agamben
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503602745
Format: PDF
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In 2013, Benedict XVI became only the second pope in the history of the Catholic Church to resign from office. In this brief but illuminating study, Giorgio Agamben argues that Benedict's gesture, far from being solely a matter of internal ecclesiastical politics, is exemplary in an age when the question of legitimacy has been virtually left aside in favor of a narrow focus on legality. This reflection on the recent history of the Church opens out into an analysis of one of the earliest documents of Christianity: the Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, which stages a dramatic confrontation between the "man of lawlessness" and the enigmatic katechon, the power that holds back the end of days. In Agamben's hands, this infamously obscure passage reveals the theological dynamics of history that continue to inform Western culture to this day.

Nudities

Author: Giorgio Agamben
Publisher: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics
ISBN: 9780804769495
Format: PDF, Kindle
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In his new collection of essays, Giorgio Agamben addresses the most urgent themes of his recent research.

Psyche

Author: Jacques Derrida
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804747981
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A twenty-eight essay collection that is published in two volumes. This work includes translations of seminal essays such as "Psyche: Invention of the Other," "The Retrait of Metaphor," "At This Very Moment in This Work Here I Am," "Tours de Babel" and "Racism's Last Word"; as well as three essays that appear in English.

Writings on Art and Literature

Author: Sigmund Freud
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804729734
Format: PDF, ePub
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Despite Freud's enormous influence on twentieth-century interpretations of the humanities, there has never before been in English a complete collection of his writings on art and literature. These fourteen essays cover the entire range of his work on these subjects, in chronological order beginning with his first published analysis of a work of literature, the 1907 "Delusion and Dreams in Jensen's Gradiva" and concluding with the 1940 posthumous publication of "Medusa's Head." Many of the essays included in this collection have been crucial in contemporary literary and art criticism and theory. Among the subjects Freud engages are Shakespeare's Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, and Macbeth, Goethe's Dichtung und Wahrheit, Michelangelo's Moses, E. T. A. Hoffman's "The Sand Man," Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, fairy tales, the effect of and the meaning of beauty, mythology, and the games of aestheticization. All texts are drawn from The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, edited by James Strachey. The volume includes the notes prepared for that edition by the editor. In addition to the writings on Jensen's Gradiva and Medusa, the essays are: "Psychopathic Characters on the Stage," "The Antithetical Meaning of Primal Words," "The Occurrence in Dreams of Material from Fairy Tales," "The Theme of the Three Caskets," "The Moses of Michelangelo," "Some Character Types Met with in Psycho-analytic Work," "On Transience," "A Mythological Parallel to a Visual Obsession," "A Childhood Recollection from Dichtung und Wahrheit," "The Uncanny," "Dostoevsky and Parricide," and "The Goethe Prize."

Resistances of Psychoanalysis

Author: Jacques Derrida
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804730198
Format: PDF, ePub
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In the three essays that make up this stimulating and often startling book, Jacques Derrida argues against the notion that the basic ideas of psychoanalysis have been thoroughly worked through, argued, and assimilated. The continuing interest in psychoanalysis is here examined in the various "resistances" to analysis—conceived not only as a phenomenon theorized at the heart of psychoanalysis, but as psychoanalysis's resistance to itself, an insusceptibility to analysis that has to do with the structure of analysis itself. Derrida not only shows how the interest of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic writing can be renewed today, but these essays afford him the opportunity to revisit and reassess a subject he first confronted (in an essay on Freud) in 1966. They also serve to clarify Derrida's thinking about the subjects of the essays—Freud, Lacan, and Foucault—a thinking that, especially with regard to the last two, has been greatly distorted and misunderstood. The first essay, on Freud, is a tour de force of close reading of Freud's texts as philosophical reflection. By means of the fine distinctions Derrida makes in this analytical reading, particularly of The Interpretation of Dreams, he opens up the realm of analysis into new and unpredictable forms—such as meeting with an interdiction (when taking an analysis further is "forbidden" by a structural limit). Following the essay that might be dubbed Derrida's "return to Freud," the next is devoted to Lacan, the figure for whom that phrase was something of a slogan. In this essay and the next, on Foucault, Derrida reencounters two thinkers to whom he had earlier devoted important essays, which precipitated stormy discussions and numerous divisions within the intellectual milieus influenced by their writings. In this essay, which skillfully integrates the concept of resistance into larger questions, Derrida asks in effect: What is the origin and nature of the text that constitutes Lacanian psychoanalysis, considering its existence as an archive, as teachings, as seminars, transcripts, quotations, etc.? Derrida's third essay may be called not simply a criticism but an appreciation of Foucault's work: an appreciation not only in the psychological and rhetorical sense, but also in the sense that it elevates Foucault's thought by giving back to it ranges and nuances lost through its reduction by his readers, his own texts, and its formulaic packaging.

Aporias

Author: Jacques Derrida
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804722520
Format: PDF
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Derrida's new book bears a special significance because it focuses on an issue that has informed the whole of his work up to the present. One of the aporetic experiences touched upon is that "my death" can never be subject to an experience that would be properly mine, that I can have and account for, yet that there is, at the same time, nothing closer to me and more properly mine than "my death."

What Is Real

Author: Giorgio Agamben
Publisher: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics
ISBN: 9781503606203
Format: PDF
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Eighty years ago, Ettore Majorana, a brilliant student of Enrico Fermi, disappeared under mysterious circumstances while going by ship from Palermo to Naples. How is it possible that the most talented physicist of his generation vanished without leaving a trace? It has long been speculated that Majorana decided to abandon physics, disappearing because he had precociously realized that nuclear fission would inevitably lead to the atomic bomb. This book advances a different hypothesis. Through a careful analysis of Majorana's article "The Value of Statistical Laws in Physics and Social Sciences," which shows how in quantum physics reality is dissolved into probability, and in dialogue with Simone Weil's considerations on the topic, Giorgio Agamben suggests that, by disappearing into thin air, Majorana turned his very person into an exemplary cipher of the status of the real in our probabilistic universe. In so doing, the physicist posed a question to science that is still awaiting an answer: What is Real?