The Literary Agamben: Adventures in Logopoiesis

The Literary Agamben: Adventures in Logopoiesis


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While Giorgio Agamben is most widely known for his political philosophy, at least a third of his output is dedicated to unique, technical and revelatory readings of literature. Indeed, it is impossible to fully understand Agamben's overall movement towards a messianic philosophy to come without knowledge of the role of poetry in his ontology. The Literary Agamben considers the totality of Agamben's detailed and varied work on literature and poiesis. Organised around three areas, language, poiesis and modernity, the book explains Agamben's theory of literary singularity in all its complexity. William Watkin details Agamben's particular 'ontological' take on linguistics, work through Agamben's definition of poetry as the tension between semantic and semiotic, and engages with Agamben's aggressive yet insightful critique of modern art as productively nihilistic. The book presents Agamben's overall conception of poiesis and its relevancy to future readings in literature, as well as an understanding of how poiesis forms the crucial third part of Agamben's overall philosophical system alongside the more widely disseminated terms 'exception' and 'potentiality'.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780826443243
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 05/12/2010
Series: Philosophy, Aesthetics and Cultural Theory
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

William Watkin is Reader in Contemporary Literature and Theory at Brunel University, UK. His previous publications include On Mourning: Theories of Loss in Modern Literature (Edinburgh UP, 2004) and In the Process of Poetry (Bucknell UP, 2001).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements x

List of Abbreviations xi

Exoteric Dossier: The Literary Agamben 1

Projection: There is Language 4

Infancy: Animals and Children 6

Ineffability and Experience 9

The Stanza 13

The Sign 17

Negating Negation 20

Subjective Enunciation 23

The Semiotic 26

Poetic Dictation 32

First Episode On the way Logopoiesis

Chapter 1 Logos, Thinking Thought 41

Poetic Thinking 41

Poetry and Philosophy 44

Communicability, The Thing Itself 48

The Idea of Language 52

Communicability, The Idea of Prose 54

Poetic Gestures 58

The Tablet, Philosophical Gesturality 61

Potentiality 63

Chapter 2 Poiesis, Thinking through Making 69

Poiesis 69

Praxis 71

Techne 73

The Art Thing 75

Finitude 77

Morphe, Shape 79

Entelechy 81

Arche, Modern Anti-Poiesis 83

Chapter 3 Modernity, Productive Anti-poiesis 87

Living As If or As Not 88

Auratic Twilight 92

Shock! 94

Profaning Scission 97

Taste and Terror 99

How to Exit Art 103

Modern Aesthetic Desubjectivization 107

Second Episode Adventures In Logopoiesis

Chapter 4 Logopoiesis, Thinking Tautology 117

The Logo-Poiesis Tautology 119

The Exemplary Tautology of Logopoiesis 122

Infinite Poetry 124

The Habits of the Muse 129

Chapter 5 Enjambement, the Turn of Verse 135

The Definition of Poetry 135

Boustrophedonics 139

Klesis, The Messianic As Not 144

Messianic Kairos 149

Messianic Rhyme 153

An Endless Falling Into Silence 155

Tension: The One Line 162

Chapter 6 Caesura, the Space of Thought 166

The Caesura 166

Apotropaics 174

Ease: The Proximate Space 180

Corn: In The Corner of The Room 186

Rhythm 189

Recursion, the Turn of Thinking 194

Notes 203

Bibliography 218

Index 229

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