Going Beyond the Pairs: The Coincidence of Opposites in German Romanticism, Zen, and Deconstruction

Overview

"In Going Beyond the Pairs, Dennis McCort examines the theme of the coincidentia oppositorum - the tendency of a thing or relationship to turn, under certain conditions, into its own opposite - as it is expressed in German Romanticism, Zen Buddhism, and deconstruction. McCort argues that the coincidentia can be useful for understanding and comparing a variety of cultural forms, including systems of myth, religions ancient and modern, laws of social organization, speculative philosophies East and West, psychological theories and therapeutic
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Going Beyond the Pairs: The Coincidence of Opposites in German Romanticism, Zen, and Deconstruction

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Overview

"In Going Beyond the Pairs, Dennis McCort examines the theme of the coincidentia oppositorum - the tendency of a thing or relationship to turn, under certain conditions, into its own opposite - as it is expressed in German Romanticism, Zen Buddhism, and deconstruction. McCort argues that the coincidentia can be useful for understanding and comparing a variety of cultural forms, including systems of myth, religions ancient and modern, laws of social organization, speculative philosophies East and West, psychological theories and therapeutic practices, and dynamic organizing principles of music, art, and literature. The book touches on a variety of Western and Eastern writers and thinkers, including Thomas Merton, Jacques Derrida, Nishida Kitaro, Rainer Maria Rilke, Franklin Merrell-Wolff, Franz Kafka, Novalis, Renzai Zen, J. D. Salinger, and the mysterious, doughnut-loving editor of the medieval Chinese koan collection, Mumonkan."--BOOK JACKET.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In seven essays, two previously published, McCort (German, Syracuse U.) explores the phenomenon of opposites coinciding in three spheres he has engaged with over the years. Each of them connects at least two, and often all three points of that triangle. He finds that the three spheres are forms of each other based on an inner attunement to a radiant fundamental guiding insight. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
By going beyond the oppositionalism of nineteenth-century Romanticism and twentieth-century deconstruction, McCort compellingly demonstrates that these critical theories each indicate an implicit 'third,' a triangulation of signification, in the face of difference. The surprise in the argument is that the radical wisdom concerning this coincidence of opposites comes from Zen! It is an Asian logic that makes going beyond Occidental pairs experientially and intellectually possible.— David Miller, author of Three Faces of God

"In addition to building surprising bridges between these seemingly disparate literary and philosophical systems, McCort offers a new reading of deconstruction that helps us find a way out of the cul de sac of much current critical theory."— Harold Coward, author of Derrida and Indian Philosophy
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781615576265
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/2001
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dennis McCort is Associate Professor of German at Syracuse University and the author of States of Unconsciousness in Three Tales by C. F. Meyer and Perspectives on Music in German Fiction: The Music-Fiction of Wilhelm Heinrich Riehl.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Overview 1
1 Figure: What Is German Romanticism (noch einmal), or The Limits of Scholarship 19
2 Merton's "Rilke," Rilke's "Merton": From an Unpublished Notebook 37
3 Killing Kafka Koans: West Meets East 75
4 Interface: Identity/Difference/Prestidigitation 95
5 East Meets West: Zen and Rilke in Salinger's Catcher 117
6 Without an Object, without a Subject: The Consciousness of Franklin Merrell-Wolff 133
7 Ground: German Romanticism, Zen, and Deconstruction 165
Appendix 177
Notes 181
Works Cited 203
Index 213
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