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Theatrical and Narrative Cognition in Seventeenth-Century France
Thomas Bernhard, Architecture, and Bildung
In one of the first English studies of Thomas Bernhard, Fatima Naqvi focuses on the Austrian author’s critique of education (Bildung) through the edifices in which it takes place. His writings insist that learning has always been a life-long process that is helped—or hindered—by the particular buildings in which Bildung occurs.
Naqvi offers close readings of Bernhard’s major prose works, from Amras (1964) to Old Masters (1985) and brings them into dialogue with major architectural debates of the times. She examines Bernard’s interrogation of the theoretical foundations underpinning the educational system and its actual sites.
How We Learn Where We Live opens new avenues into thinking about one of the most provocative writers of the twentieth century.
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.
The Very Idea of a Critique of Pure Reason
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.