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Ontological Catastrophe: Žižek and the Paradoxical Metaphysics of German Idealism

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Book Series: New Metaphysics ISBN: 9781607853084 Year: Pages: 324 DOI: 10.3998/ohp.12763629.0001.001 Language: English
Publisher: Open Humanities Press
Subject: Philosophy
Added to DOAB on : 2014-11-11 11:01:09
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In Ontological Catastrophe, Joseph Carew takes up the central question guiding Slavoj Žižek philosophy: How could something like phenomenal reality emerge out of the meaninglessness of the Real? Carefully reconstructing and expanding upon his controversial reactualization of German Idealism, Carew argues that Žižek offers us an original, but perhaps terrifying, response: experience is possible only if we presuppose a prior moment of breakdown as the ontogenetic basis of subjectivity. Drawing upon resources found in Žižek, Lacanian psychoanalysis, and post-Kantian philosophy, Carew thus develops a new critical metaphysics—a metaphysics which is a variation upon the late German Idealist theme of balancing system and freedom, realism and idealism, in a single, self-reflexive theoretical construct—that challenges our understanding of nature, culture, and the ultimate structure of reality.

The Letters of Vincent van Gogh: A Critical Study

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Book Series: Cultural Dialectics ISSN: 19158378 ISBN: 9781927356746 9781927356753 9781927356760 Year: Pages: 254 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781927356746.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Added to DOAB on : 2014-08-04 17:04:53
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When he died at the age of thirty-seven, Vincent van Gogh left a legacy of over two thousand artworks, for which he is now justly famous. But van Gogh was also a prodigious writer of letters - more than eight hundred of them, addressed to his parents, to friends such as Paul Gauguin, and, above all, to his brother Theo. His letters have long been admired for their exceptional literary quality, and art historians have sometimes drawn on the letters in their analysis of the paintings. And yet, to date, no one has undertaken a critical assessment of this remarkable body of writingÑnot as a footnote to the paintings but as a highly sophisticated literary achievement in its own right. Patrick Grant's long-awaited study provides such an assessment and, as such, redresses a significant omission in the field of van Gogh studies. As Grant demonstrates, quite apart from furnishing a highly revealing self-portrait of their author, the letters are compelling for their imaginative and expressive power, as well as for the perceptive commentary they offer on universal human themes. Through a subtle exploration of van Gogh's contrastive style of thinking and his fascination with the notion of imperfection, Grant illuminates gradual shifts in van Gogh's ideas on religion, ethics, and the meaning of art. He also analyzes the metaphorical significance of a number of key images in the letters, which prove to yield unexpected psychological and conceptual connections, and probes the relationships that surface when the letters are viewed as a cohesive literary product. The result is a wealth of new insights into van Gogh's inner landscape.

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