Very Little-- Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature

Very Little-- Almost Nothing: Death, Philosophy, Literature

by Simon Critchley
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415128226

ISBN-13: 9780415128223

Pub. Date: 06/27/1997

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

The 'death of man', the 'end of history' and even philosophy are strong and troubling currents running through contemporary debates. Yet since Nietzsche's heralding of the 'death of god', philosophy has been unable to explain the question of finitude.
Very Little...Almost Nothing goes to the heart of this problem through an exploration of Blanchot's

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Overview

The 'death of man', the 'end of history' and even philosophy are strong and troubling currents running through contemporary debates. Yet since Nietzsche's heralding of the 'death of god', philosophy has been unable to explain the question of finitude.
Very Little...Almost Nothing goes to the heart of this problem through an exploration of Blanchot's theory of literature, Stanley Cavell's interpretations of romanticism and the importance of death in the work of Samuel Beckett. Simon Critchley links these themes to the philosophy of Emmanuel Levinas to present a powerful new picture of how we must approach the importance of death in philosophy.
A compelling reading of the convergence of literature and philosophy, Very Little...Almost Nothing opens up new ways of understanding finitude, modernity and the nature of the imagination.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415128223
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
06/27/1997
Series:
Warwick Studies in European Philosophy Series
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.66(d)

Table of Contents

Abbreviations
Preamble: Travels in Nihilon1
(a) Philosophy begins in disappointment2
(b) Pre-Nietzschean nihilism3
(c) Nietzschean nihilism6
(d) Responding to nihilism: five possibilities9
(e) Heidegger's transformation of Nietzschean nihilism13
(f) Heidegger contra Junger15
(g) Impossible redemption: Adorno on nihilism18
(h) Learning how to die - the argument24
Lecture 1Il y a31
(a) Reading Blanchot31
(b) How is literature possible?35
(c) Orpheus, or the law of desire42
(d) Blanchot's genealogy of morals: exteriority as desire, exteriority as law45
(e) Il y a - the origin of the artwork48
(f) The (im)possibility of death - or, how would Blanchot read Blanchot if he were not Blanchot?65
(g) Holding Levinas's hand to Blanchot's fire73
Lecture 2Unworking romanticism85
(a) Our naivete85
(b) Digression I: Imagination as resistance (Wallace Stevens)98
(c) Romantic ambiguity105
(d) Cavell's 'romanticism'118
(e) Digression II: Why Stanley loves America and why we should too125
(f) Cavell's romanticism131
Lecture 3Know happiness - on Beckett141
(a) Beckett and philosophical interpretation141
(b) The dredging machine (Derrida)145
(c) The meaning of meaninglessness and the paradoxical task of interpretation (Adorno I)147
(d) Hope against hope - the elevation of social criticism to the level of form (Adorno II)154
(e) Nothing is funnier than unhappiness - Beckett's laughter (Adorno III)157
(f) Storytime, time of death (Molloy, Malone Dies)160
(g) My old aporetics - the syntax of weakness (The Unnameable)165
(h) Who speaks? Not I (Blanchot)172
(i) No happiness? (Cavell)176
Notes181
Acknowledgements206
Index208

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