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L ’E sprit C réateur Celan) and the gift fo r the other in Levinasian ethics, where “giving” is oriented only towards the other and depends on the non-reciprocity of this gesture. Rather than a critique or interpretation, the study aspires to be an ethical encounter with the texts, unfolding in the proximity of philosophy and poetry. Ziarek’s analyses pro­ vide a hermeneutic “ infold” in the texts, which reveals their respective foreignness and allows for a conversation between them. In the final analysis, the hermeneutics of nearness becomes synonymous with the hermeneutics of respectful listening that does not absorb alterity in its epistemes but “ pays attention” to the signs of the other’s inarticulable foreignness. This listening, Ziarek concludes, unlike the listening traditionally defined in opposition to speaking, precedes language and leaves it open to otherness. Inscribing itself in the legacy and the onus of poststiucturalism, Inflected Language explores the juncture of ethics and aesthetics and poses questions that will continue to “inflect” the critical discourse and challenge it to pry open current aesthetic paradigms towards their own ethical “ beyond.” D o r o t a G lo w a c k a University o f King’s College (Halifax) Andrew Benjamin and Peter Osborne, eds. T h in k in g A r t : B e y o n d T r a d i t i o n a l A e s t h e t i c s . London: IC A , 1991. Pp. xv + 223. $21.95. Two of the things that London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts does best is to create a forum for theoretical discussion, and to provide venues for a wide variety of contemporary arts. A collection of essays that reflects this dual function, Thinking A rt is the tenth volume of the ICA Documents series. If there is a question that dominates these eclectic and sometimes demanding essays, it is—perhaps unsurprisingly—that of representation. In what sense does abstract art go beyond it? David Batchelor has this question in mind when he criticizes the “tendency to confuse representation with depiction” (52). His concern about such confusion stems from its underlying assumption—one that several authors seek to critically interrogate—namely, in Margaret Iversen’s words, “ the reduction of art to a thing in the world” (85). Drawing on Heidegger’s notion of presencing, Howard Caygill’s contribution develops the need to avoid the naivety of imagining we know what we mean when we implicitly appeal to the thing that art is supposed, in some way or other, to represent. He quotes Samuel Beckett’s description of ‘‘modern painting as in ‘pursuit less of the thing than of its thingness, less of the object than of its condition of being object’ ” (21). Drawing her title from Irigaray, Sandra Kemp inflects the issue in another direction when she asks “ But What if the Object Began to Speak?” (179). Dance is the occasion for Kemp’s commentary on the inadequacy not only of the language of representation, but also of language as representation. To translate the steps of a dancer into “ overtly discursive practices” is to treat the body in movement as if language could circumscribe it. As Martha Graham puts it, “ I do not want to be a tree, a flower or a wave” (181). In a Heideggerian meditation on Anselm Kiefer that is also inspired by Derrida, Andrew Benjamin focuses on the 1974 works Nero Paints and Painting = Burning. He uses the motif of the palette to pursue the problem of representation, showing how it functions as a frame in Kiefer’s work, one that undermines the idea that there is an “ origin of the work of art” (99). By interrogating the meaning of the frame, or border, Benjamin’s contribution opens onto the guiding theme that organizes both Christa Burger’s study of Adorno and Thomas Mann, and Peter Bürger’s Hegelian tour de force. Christa Bürger calls it the “ separation of life and art” (141), and Peter Bürger’s interest lies in what he calls “the 90 Fa l l 1995 Book R eviews dialectic of the boundary” (5). The boundaries in question...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 90-91
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-05
Open Access
No
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