Download Aesthetics of Negativity: Blanchot, Adorno, and Autonomy by William S. Allen PDF

By William S. Allen

Maurice Blanchot and Theodor W. Adorno are one of the so much tough but additionally the main profound thinkers in twentieth-century aesthetics. whereas their equipment and views vary extensively, they percentage a priority with the negativity of the art conceived when it comes to both its adventure and hazard or its severe expression. Such negativity is neither nihilistic nor pessimistic yet issues the prestige of the art and its autonomy relating to its context or its event. For either Blanchot and Adorno, negativity is the most important to figuring out the prestige of the paintings in post-Kantian aesthetics, and even though it shows how artwork expresses severe chances, albeit negatively, it additionally exhibits that artwork bears an irreducible ambiguity such that its which means can continually negate itself. This ambiguity takes on an further fabric value whilst thought of when it comes to language, because the negativity of the paintings turns into aesthetic within the additional experience of being either good and experimental. yet in doing so the language of the literary paintings turns into a sort of pondering that permits materiality to be idea in its ambiguity.

In a sequence of wealthy and compelling readings, William S. Allen indicates how an unique and rigorous mode of pondering arises inside Blanchot's early writings and the way Adorno's aesthetics relies on a relation among language and materiality that has been largely missed. moreover, through reconsidering the matter of the independent murals by way of literature, a critical factor in modernist aesthetics is given a better severe and fabric relevance as a method of considering that's summary and urban, rigorous and ambiguous. whereas examples of this type of writing are available within the works of Blanchot and Beckett, the calls for that such texts position on readers purely make certain the demanding situations and the probabilities that literary autonomy poses to thought.

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Extra resources for Aesthetics of Negativity: Blanchot, Adorno, and Autonomy

Example text

Such a conclusion would seem to arise out of the prior distinction between thought and language, along with the apparent sense of lost purity that stems from their commingling, whether this is the purity of language without thought or vice versa. But although this guiding belief may be false, the role of commonplaces in language remains a problem as they highlight the way that words oscillate undecidably between intended meaning and actual sense, or what might be considered their exchange-value and use-value.

Such grounds do not become essentialized in the process, for this is the negativity that thought carries with it, rather than some reified exteriority, and as such it bears witness to what Hegel discussed as the contingent— sheer indeterminate materiality that is, in the everyday, or in language, unbound. The recuperation of this contingency in sociology or poetry cannot proceed without taking account of the extent of its permeation of language, which requires a very different kind of response, one that seeks to bring itself closer to the indeterminacy that it bears rather than trying to convert it into something else.

Within the changes found in modernist writing it is possible to see how the determinate negation of some aspects such as plot or character, genre or style, or the narrative form itself, have led to significant innovations in the literary art, but for each such negation language responds by reasserting itself otherwise. Language does not operate in the same way as the visual arts, for it is extended across time by way of its expression, and also, and perhaps more significantly, there is an extreme transparency between its material and semiotic aspects, which means that it can change its meaning at the slightest provocation.

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