The Birth to Presence (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series)

Overview


The epoch of representation is as old as the West. Indeed, representation is the West, understood as what at once designates and expands its own limits. But what comes after the West? What comes after representation's disclosure of its own limit?

The central problem posed in these essays, collected from over a decade of work, is how in the wake of Western ontologies to conceive the coming, the birth that characterizes being. We are now at the limit of representation, where ...

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Overview


The epoch of representation is as old as the West. Indeed, representation is the West, understood as what at once designates and expands its own limits. But what comes after the West? What comes after representation's disclosure of its own limit?

The central problem posed in these essays, collected from over a decade of work, is how in the wake of Western ontologies to conceive the coming, the birth that characterizes being. We are now at the limit of representation, where objects as we experience them have been show to be merely objects of representation—or rather, of presentation, since there is nothing to (re)present. The first part of this book, "Existence," asks how, today, one can give sense of meaning to existence as such, arguing that existence itself, as it comes nude into the world, must now be our "sense."

In examining what this birth to presence might be, we should not ask what presence "is"; rather we should conceive presence as presence to someone, including to presence itself. This birth is not the constitution of an identity, but the endless departure of an identity from, and from within, its other, or others. Its coming is not desire but jouissance, the joy of averring oneself to be continually in the state of being born—a rejoicing of birth, a birth of rejoicing.

The second section, "Poetry," asks: What is art exposes this? In writing, in the voice, in painting? And what if art is exposed to it? How does it inscribe (or rather, "exscribe," in a term the book develops) the coming existence as such? The author's trajectory in this book crosses those of Hegel, Schlegel, Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Freud, and Heidegger, in their comments on art and politics, existence and corporeality, everyday life and its modes of existence and ecstasy. An analysis that dares this crossing involves all the varied accounts of existence, political as well as philosophical, and all the realms of poverty.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804721899
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1994
  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 779,886
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Birth to Presence 1
Pt. I Existence
Identity and Trembling 9
Abandoned Being 36
Dei Paralysis Progressiva 48
Hyperion's Joy 58
The Decision of Existence 82
The Jurisdiction of the Hegelian Monarch 110
Finite History 143
The Heart of Things 167
Corpus 189
Pt. II Poetry
In Statu Nascendi 211
Vox Clamans in Deserto 234
Menstruum Universale 248
Noli Me Frangere 266
Exergues 279
To Possess Truth in One Soul and One Body 284
We need... 307
Speaking Without Being Able To 310
Exscription 319
On Painting (and) Presence 341
Laughter, Presence 368
Psyche 393
Notes 395
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