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The eleven interconnected essays of this book penetrate the dense historical knots binding terror, power, and the aesthetic sublime and bring the results to bear on the trauma of September 11 and the subsequent "war on terror." Through rigorous critical studies of major works of post- 1945 and contemporary culture, the book traces transformations in art and critical theory in the aftermath of Auschwitz and Hiroshima. Critically engaging with the work of continental philosophers Theodor W Adorno, Jacques Derrida, and Jean-Francois Lyotard and of contemporary artists Joeph Beuys, Damien Hirst, and Boaz Arad, the book confronts the shared cultural conditions that made Auschwitz and Hiroshima possible and offers searching meditations on the structure and meaning of the traumatic historical "event." Ray argues that globalization cannot be separated from the collective tasks of working through historical genocide. He provocatively concludes that the curent US-led "war on terror" must be grasped as a globalized inability to mourn.
Introduction: The Hit
• Reading the Lisbon Earthquake: Adorno, Lyotard, and the Contemporary Sublime
• Joseph Beuys and the "After-Auschwitz" Sublime
• Ground Zero: Hiroshima Haunts 9/11
• Mirroring Evil: Auschwitz, Art, and the "War on Terror"
• Little Glass House of Horror: Taking Damien Hirst Seriously
• Blasted Moments: Remarking a Hiroshima Image
• Installing a "New Cosmopolitics": Derrida and the Writers
• The Trauerspiel in the Age of Its Global Reproducibility: Boaz Arad's Hitler Videos
• Listening with the Third Ear: Echoes from Ground Zero
• Conditioning Adorno: "After Auschwitz" Now