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Theatrical and Narrative Cognition in Seventeenth-Century France
Paths Toward Trancendental Phenomenology
In a penetrating and lucid discussion of the enigmatic relationship between the work of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, Steven Galt Crowell proposes that the distinguishing feature of twentieth century philosophy is not so much its emphasis on language as its concern with meaning. Arguing that transcendental phenomenology is indispensable to the philosophical explanation of the space of meaning, Crowell shows how a proper understanding of both Husserl and Heidegger reveals the distinctive contributions of each to that ongoing phenomenological project.
Suicide in Israeli Literature
An Ideological Death: Suicide in Israeli Literature examines literary challenges to Israel’s national narratives. The centrality of the army, the mythology of the "new Jew," the vision of the first Israeli city, Tel Aviv, and the very process by which a nation’s history is constructed are confronted in fiction by many prominent Israeli writers.
Using the image of suicide, A. B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, Etgar Keret, Yehudit Katzir, Alon Hilu, Yaakov Shabtai, Benjamin Tammuz, and Yehoshua Kenaz each engage in a critical and rhetorical process that examines the nation’s formation and reconsiders myths at the heart of the Zionist project. In Israeli literature, suicide represents a society’s compulsion to create impossible ideals that leave its populace disappointed and deluded. Yet, as Rachel S. Harris shows, even at their harshest these writers also represent the idealism that helped build Israel as a modern nation-state.
Metapsychology and the Analytic A Posteriori
Andrew Cutrofello's book performs a psychoanalytic inversion of transcendental philosophy, taking Kant's synthetic a prior judgments and reading them in terms of a foreclosed Kantian category that of the analytic a posteriori. Working primarily out of Freudian and Lacanian problematics, Cutrofello not only subjects Kantian thought to psychoanalytic questioning, but also develops a systematic critique of metapsychology itself, disclosing and assessing its own paralogisms, antinomies, ideal, and ethics. This is a provocative reflection on the tensions between the Enlightenment project of critique and psychoanalytic theory.
Russian Prose on the Eve of the Novel, 1820s-1850s
The Imperative of Reliability examines the development of nineteenth-century Russian prose and the remarkably swift emergence of the Russian novel. Victoria Somoff identifies an unprecedented situation in the production and perception of the utterance that came to define nascent novelistic fictionality both in European and Russian prose, where the utterance itself—whether an oral story or a “found” manuscript—became the object of representation within the compositional format of the frame narrative. This circumstance generated a narrative perspective from which both the events and their representation appeared as concomitant in time and space: the events did not precede their narration but rather occurred and developed along with and within the narration itself. Somoff establishes this story-discourse convergence as a major factor in enabling the transition from shorter forms of Russian prose to the full-fledged realist novel.
Jews, Gender, and America in Recent German Literature
Wittgenstein, Anxiety, and Performance Behavior
In this highly original study of the nature of performance, Spencer Golub uses the insights of Ludwig Wittgenstein into the way language works to analyze the relationship between the linguistic and the visual in the work of a broad range of dramatists, novelists, and filmmakers, among them Richard Foreman, Mac Wellman, Peter Handke, David Mamet, and Alfred Hitchcock. Like Wittgenstein, these artists are concerned with the limits of language’s representational capacity. For Golub, it is these limits that give Wittgenstein’s thought a further, very personal significance—its therapeutic quality with respect to the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder from which he suffers.
Underlying what Golub calls “performance behavior” is Wittgenstein’s notion of “pain behavior”—that which gives public expression to private experience. Golub charts new directions for exploring the relationship between theater and philosophy, and even for scholarly criticism itself.
The Lessons of Hegel's Science of Experience
Infinite Phenomenology builds on John Russon’s earlier book, Reading Hegel’s Phenomenology, to offer a second reading of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Here again, Russon writes in a lucid, engaging style and, through careful attention to the text and a subtle attunement to the existential questions that haunt human life, he demonstrates how powerfully Hegel’s philosophy can speak to the basic questions of philosophy. In addition to original studies of all the major sections of the Phenomenology, Russon discusses complementary texts by Hegel, namely, the Philosophy of Spirit, the Philosophy of Right, and the Science of Logic. He concludes with an appendix that discusses the reception and appropriation of Hegel’s Phenomenology in twentieth-century French philosophy. As with Russon’s earlier work, Infinite Phenomenology will remain essential reading for those looking to engage Hegel’s essential, yet difficult, text.
Lectures in China
Since 1988, J. Hillis Miller has traveled to China to lecture on literary theory, especially the role of globalization in literary theory. Over time, he has assisted in the development of distinctively Chinese forms of literary theory, Comparative Literature, and World Literature. The fifteen lectures gathered in An Innocent Abroad span both time and geographic location, reflecting his work at universities across China for more than twenty-five years. More important, they reflect the evolution of Miller’s thinking and of the lectures’ contexts in China as these have markedly changed over the years, especially on either side of Tiananmen Square and in light of China’s economic growth and technological change. A foreword by the leading theorist Fredric Jameson provides additional context.