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The Book of Job and the Immanent Genesis of Transcendence

Davis Hankins

Recent philosophical reexaminations of sacred texts have focused almost exclusively on the Christian New Testament, and Paul in particular. The Book of Job and the Immanent Genesis of Transcendence revives the enduring philosophical relevance and political urgency of the book of Job and thus contributes to the recent “turn toward religion” among philosophers such as Slavoj Žižek and Alain Badiou. Job is often understood to be a trite folktale about human limitation in the face of confounding and absolute transcendence; on the contrary, Hankins demonstrates that Job is a drama about the struggle to create a just and viable life in a material world that is ontologically incomplete and consequently open to radical, unpredictable transformation. Job’s abiding legacy for any future materialist theology becomes clear as Hankins analyzes Job’s dramatizations of a transcendence that is not externally opposed to but that emerges from an ontologically incomplete material world.

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Charlie Chaplin, Director

Charlie Chaplin was one of the cinema’s consummate comic performers, yet he has long been criticized as a lackluster film director. In this groundbreaking work—the first to analyze Chaplin’s directorial style—Donna Kornhaber radically recasts his status as a filmmaker. Spanning Chaplin’s career, Kornhaber discovers a sophisticated "Chaplinesque" visual style that draws from early cinema and slapstick and stands markedly apart from later, "classical" stylistic conventions. His is a manner of filmmaking that values space over time and simultaneity over sequence, crafting narrative and meaning through careful arrangement within the frame rather than cuts between frames. Opening up aesthetic possibilities beyond the typical boundaries of the classical Hollywood film, Chaplin’s filmmaking would profoundly influence directors from Fellini to Truffaut. To view Chaplin seriously as a director is to re-understand him as an artist and to reconsider the nature and breadth of his legacy.

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The Child as Natural Phenomenologist

Primal and Primary Experience in Merleau-Ponty's Psychology

Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1908–1961) is well known for his work in phenomenology, but his lectures in child psychology and pedagogy have received little attention, probably because Talia Welsh translated the lectures in their entirety only in 2010. The Child as Natural Phenomenologist summarizes Merleau-Ponty’s work in child psychology, shows its relationship to his philosophical work, and argues for its continued relevance in contemporary theory and practice.

Welsh demonstrates Merleau-Ponty’s unique conception of the child’s development as inherently organized, meaningful, and engaged with the world, contrary to views that see the child as largely internally preoccupied and driven by instinctual demands. Welsh finds that Merleau-Ponty’s ideas about human psychology remain relevant in today’s growing field of child studies and that they provide important insights for philosophers, sociologists, and psychologists to better understand the human condition.

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Consequences of Hermeneutics

Fifty Years After Gadamer's Truth and Method

Jeff Malpas

These essays examine the achievements of hermeneutics as well as its current status and prospects for the future. Gadamer’s text provides an important focus, but the ambition of these critical reappraisals extends to hermeneutics more broadly and to a range of other thinkers, such as Heidegger, Ricoeur, Derrida, and Rorty.

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Cosmopolitan Desires

Global Modernity and World Literature in Latin America

Mariano Siskind

Mariano Siskind’s groundbreaking debut book redefines the scope of world literature, particularly regarding the place of Latin America in its imaginaries and mappings. In Siskind’s formulation, world literature is a modernizing discursive strategy, a way in which cultures negotiate their aspirations to participate in global networks of cultural exchange, and an original tool to reorganize literary history. Working with novels, poems, essays, travel narratives, and historical documents, Siskind reads the way Latin American literary modernity was produced as a global relation, from the rise of planetary novels in the 1870s and the cosmopolitan imaginaries of modernism at the turn of the twentieth century, to the global spread of magical realism. With its unusual breadth of reference and firm but unobtrusive grounding in philosophy, literary theory, and psychoanalysis, Cosmopolitan Desires will have a major impact in the fields of Latin American studies and comparative literature.

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Cosmopolitan Parables

Trauma and Responsibility in Contemporary Germany

David D. Kim

Cosmopolitan Parables explores the global rise of the heavily debated concept of cosmopolitanism from a unique German literary perspective. Since the early 1990s, the notion of cosmopolitanism has acquired a new salience because of an alarming rise in nationalism, xenophobia, migration, international war, and genocide. This uprising has transformed how artists and scholars within every geopolitical context assess the power of an international civil society, resulting in a moral obligation to unite regardless of cultural background, religious affiliation, or national citizenship. It rejuvenates an ancient yet timely framework within which contemporary political crises are to be overcome, especially after the collapse of communist states and the intersection of postwar and postcolonial trajectories. To exemplify this global challenge, Kim examines three internationally acclaimed writers of German origin—Hans Christoph Buch, Michael Krüger, and W. G. Sebald—joined by their own harrowing experiences and stunning entanglements of Holocaust memory, postcolonial responsibility, and communist legacy.

This bold new study is the first of its kind, interrogating transnational memories of trauma alongside globally shared responsibilities for justice. More important, it addresses the question of remembrance—whether the colonial past or the postwar legacy serves as a proper foundation upon which cosmopolitanism is to be pursued in today's era of globalization.
 

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The Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic

1890-1934

Irina Gutkin

In The Cultural Origins of the Socialist Realist Aesthetic, Irina Gutkin brings together the best work written on the subject to argue that socialist realism encompassed a philosophical worldview that marked thinking in the USSR on all levels: political, social, and linguistic. Using a wealth of diverse cultural material, Gutkin traces the emergence of the central tenants of socialist realist theory from Symbolism and Futurism through the 1920s and 1930s.

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Current Continental Theory and Modern Philosophy

Stephen Daniel

A systematic rereading of early modern philosophers in the light of recent Continental philosophy, Current Continental Thought and Modern Philosophy exposes overlooked but critical aspects of sixteenth through eighteenth century philosophy even as it brings to light certain historical assumptions that have colored and distorted our understanding of modernist thought. This volume thus retrieves modern thinkers from the modernistic ways in which they have been portrayed since the nineteenth century; at the same time, it enhances our view of the roots and concerns of current Continental thought.

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Demonic History

From Goethe to the Present

Kirk Wetters

In this ambitious book, Kirk Wetters traces the genealogy of the demonic in German literature from its imbrications in Goethe to its varying legacies in the work of essential authors, both canonical and less well known, such as Gundolf, Spengler, Benjamin, Lukács, and Doderer. Wetters focuses especially on the philological and metaphorological resonances of the demonic from its core formations through its appropriations in the tumultuous twentieth century.

Propelled by equal parts theoretical and historical acumen, Wetters explores the ways in which the question of the demonic has been employed to multiple theoretical, literary, and historico-political ends. He thereby produces an intellectual history that will be consequential both to scholars of German literature and to comparatists.

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Designed for Flight

Poems

Gregory Fraser

Designed for Flight both continues and enlarges the exploration of the rhythms of our emotional lives undertaken in Gregory Fraser’s first two collections. A master of metaphor, Fraser works magic within tightly controlled forms, loading lines with surprising juxtapositions and changes of direction. Taken together, the poems trace the sometimes instant, sometimes decades-long movement from incomprehensible loss and grief to rueful reflection and, if we’re lucky, uneasy accommodation. Casting a sharply observant eye on past selves, always steering clear of simple sentiment, the speaker in this collection looks back with bitter irony and forgiveness in equal measure. Against the fears and frustrations of childhood, the dissolution of a doomed relationship, and the distance between the hoped for and the actual, Fraser’s poems offer the imagination’s capacity for endless invention and the compensatory pleasures of art.







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