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Prophecies of Leviathan: Reading Past Melville
     

Prophecies of Leviathan: Reading Past Melville

by Peter Szendy, Gil Anidjar
 

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In his brilliant and thorough afterword, Gil Anidjar situates Prophecies of Leviathan among Szendy's other works and shows how the seemingly tautological self-prophecy really announces a new "ipsology," a "pluralization of the self" through a "narcissism of the other thing."

Overview

In his brilliant and thorough afterword, Gil Anidjar situates Prophecies of Leviathan among Szendy's other works and shows how the seemingly tautological self-prophecy really announces a new "ipsology," a "pluralization of the self" through a "narcissism of the other thing."

Editorial Reviews

University of Pennsylvania - Jean-Michel Rabaté
"Szendy uses a dialogical form of criticism to argue that Moby Dick should be read as a prophetic text; the prophecy of an unspeakable catastrophe turns into the experience of writing from the 'outside.'
It is the proximity with such an 'outside' that frees Meville's text from its crust of ancient glosses and multiplies amazingly original close readings."
Princeton University - Eduardo Cadava
"Prophecies of Leviathan enacts and performs, within the movement of its language, what it seeks to convey: that any reading worthy of the name "reading" must undergo the storms of reading, must move without compass or anchor, must come to understand that reading means "learning to die." In this, Szendy proves himself to be-like Melville himself-one of the great meteorologists of reading in general. Indeed, in reading "reading," in reading the act of reading, this wildly wonderful book traces the whirlwinds and tempests, the stammering and staccato iterations, that are the signature of Melville's whale of a book and, in so doing, not only invites future readings but also comprehends and anticipates them. I therefore prophesize that by reading backwards in order to read ahead this book will continue to tell us how and why we read at all, regardless of whether we are reading a book, a document, or, in Melville's case, an archive of the world."
Amherst College - Andrew Parker
"Prophecies of Leviathan is an extraordinary reading of Melville’s fictions as sustained meditations on the nature of reading. If Moby Dick is a prophetic text, this is because—as Peter Szendy shows us—the event of (its) reading is prophetic. Taking his bearings from Blanchot and Derrida while also reading in ways all his own, Szendy will have changed not only how we read Moby Dick but how it reads us."
From the Publisher
Prophecies of Leviathan is an extraordinary reading of Melville's fictions as sustained meditations on the nature of reading. If Moby Dick is a prophetic text, this is because-as Peter Szendy shows us-the event of (its) reading is prophetic. Taking his bearings from Blanchot and Derrida while also reading in ways all his own, Szendy will have changed not only how we read Moby Dick but how it reads us.-Andrew Parker

Prophecies of Leviathan enacts and performs, within the movement of its language, what it seeks to convey: that any reading worthy of the name reading must undergo the storms of reading, must move without compass or anchor, must come to understand that reading means learning to die. In this, Szendy proves himself to be-like Melville himself-one of the great meteorologists of reading in general. Indeed, in reading reading, in reading the act of reading, this wildly wonderful book traces the whirlwinds and tempests, the stammering and staccato iterations, that are the signature of Melville's whale of a book and, in so doing, not only invites future readings but also comprehends and anticipates them. I therefore prophesize that by reading backwards in order to read ahead this book will continue to tell us how and why we read at all, regardless of whether we are reading a book, a document, or, in Melville's case, an archive of the world.-Eduardo Cadava

Szendy uses a dialogical form of criticism to argue that Moby Dick should be read as a prophetic text; the prophecy of an unspeakable catastrophe turns into the experience of writing from the 'outside.' It is the proximity with such an 'outside' that frees Meville's text from its crust of ancient glosses and multiplies amazingly original close readings.-Jean-Michel Rabat

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823231539
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
Publication date:
01/03/2010
Edition description:
2
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Szendy teaches aesthetics in the Philosophy Department of the University of Nanterre. He is also adviser for the Cit de la musique in Paris. In English, he has recently published Listen: A History of Our Ears and Prophecies of Leviathan: Reading Past Melville (both Fordham).

GIL ANIDJAR is Associate Professor in the department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures and in the Department of Religion at Columbia University.

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