BN.com Gift Guide

My Life among the Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 62%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (11) from $14.75   
  • New (3) from $34.95   
  • Used (8) from $14.75   

Overview

With My Life among the Deathworks: Illustrations of the Aesthetics of Authority, the renowned cultural theorist and Freud scholar Philip Rieff inaugurates a trilogy that signals the summation of his scholarly lifework. With this series, Sacred Order/Social Order, to be published in consecutive volumes, Rieff both continues and supersedes the lines of thought that characterize the earlier, influential works upon which his reputation was forged. Readers familiar with Rieff's distinctive oeuvre will recognize central themes and find final recitations on the cultural impact of Freud and his creation "psychological man" or "the therapeutic," which Rieff here renames the "new man." Whether conversant with Rieff’s work or new to its unique interpretive power, readers of Sacred Order/Social Order will discover a series of provocative insights, illuminated by Rieff’s wide-ranging expositions, theoretical advances, and stylistic innovations.

In this first volume, Rieff articulates a comprehensive, typological theory of Western culture. Using visual illustrations and unique juxtapositions, he displays remarkable erudition in drawing from such disciplines as sociology, history, literature, poetry, music, plastic arts, and film; he contrasts the changing modes of spiritual and social thought that have struggled for dominance throughout Western history. Our modern culture—to Rieff's mind only the "third" type in western history—is the object of his deepest scrutiny, described here as morally ruinous, death-affirming rather than life-affirming, and representing an unprecedented attempt to create a culture completely devoid of any concept of the sacred.

For Rieff, culture represents the "form of fighting before the firing begins" in a literal life-and-death struggle for a particular type of world-creation. Having concluded in this final phase of his career that there is no neutral ground in this struggle, Rieff takes aim at many of the most significant "deathworks" in modern literature, art, and history—from Joyce's Finnegans Wake and Duchamp's Etant donnés to Hitler's death camps—in an attempt to undo them by using them against themselves. In so doing, he seeks to show the reader what really animates, and is ultimately at stake, in the contemporary "culture wars" raging over such issues as euthanasia, education, medical research, sexuality, race, class, and gender.

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New Republic

My Life Among the Deathworks is a hauntingly beautiful blend of poetry, ethical inquiry, and lament....Rieff ushers the reader into a world in which ideas and issues long age deemed im portant suddenly matter again.

The New Republic

My Life Among the Deathworks is a hauntingly beautiful blend of poetry, ethical inquiry, and lament....Rieff ushers the reader into a world in which ideas and issues long age deemed im portant suddenly matter again.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813925165
  • Publisher: University of Virginia Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 847,488
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Philip Rieff, Benjamin Franklin Professor of Sociology and University Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, is author of the classic works Freud: Mind of the Moralist, The Triumph of the Therapeutic, and Fellow Teachers, and the editor of The Collected Papers of Sigmund Freud. Kenneth S. Piver is a psychiatrist in private practice in San Diego, California. James Davison Hunter is La Brosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor in Religion, Culture, and Social Theory at the University of Virginia.

University of Virginia Press

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)