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L ’E spr it C réateur aesthetics of the death of art by this very death itself, which gives art back into the freedom of purposelessness that the Kantian model had stressed in the first place. With this, the strong opposition between the aesthetic attitude and the death of art begins to falter. But at the very moment that Hegel himself seems to have integrated and abolished the tension between Kantian and Hegelian aesthetics, Taminiaux takes yet another turn: “ But the whole question is whether there might be within the nature of aesthetic freedom something that resists such an integration” (70). Focussing on the Kantian notion of Gunst (favor), Taminiaux moves towards Heidegger and his reflections on art. While the following three chapers—discussions of Hölderlin, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche and a particularly noteworthy and valuable chapter on “ The Nostalgia for Greece at the Dawn of Classical Germany”—pick up the historical sequence, it is with the two penultimate chapters that Taminiaux returns explicitly to his theme of the end of art. If Heidegger seemed to offer, at the end of the fourth chapter, an alternative above and beyond the opposed poles of aesthetic attitude and the death of art, in the chapter on Heidegger Taminiaux proceeds to excavate nothing else than “ The Hegelian Legacy in Heidegger’s Overcoming of Aesthetics.” This extraordinarily dynamic and surprising little book is not only an excellent introduc­ tion to aesthetics, but it is also one of the very few systematic analyses of the death of art as one of the organizing motifs of modern aesthetics, of modem art, and of its relationship to politics. E v a G e u le n University o f Rochester Rodolphe Gascht. I n v e n t io n s o f D if f e r e n c e . O n J a c q u e s D e r r i d a . Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. Pp. 286. Paper $22.95. Rodolphe Gasche’s Inventions o f Difference: On Jacques Derrida is “ a book about singularity, first of all, on the singularity of the different philosophical concepts of dif­ ference that it broaches, and against whose backdrop Derrida’s meditation and simul­ taneous performance of singularity are then discussed.” By invention of difference, Gasche refers to “the irruption into the world of that difference which, according to a long tradi­ tion, initially institutes universally shareable generality and ideality.” He argues that “ the invention of difference, consequently, proffers an invitation to think the singularity of the inaugural event in which communality, universality, legality, objectivity, ideality, and so on, arise as the context which by right precedes all thought and invention of difference.” No doubt, difference, in this sense, is informed by Martin Heidegger’s thoughts on Ereignis and Maurice Blanchot’s thinking about the arrival of an event forestalled in its coming hither. “ The title, Inventions o f Difference, hints at the thought of how unique difference, in its extreme singularity, arrives, breaking with the legality of the established codes on dif­ ference, and in particular the philosophical code, in a relentless, infinite negotiation to secure a possibility for its impossible status with philosophy” (21). The first two chapters, “ Deconstruction as Criticism” and “ The Law of Tradition,” explore the “difference” between deconstruction and the tradition. “ Rather than effacing all possible reference to the tradition, deconstructive work on the tradition irrevocably reaffirms—albeit not without multiple warnings—continued referral to the tradition and its code’’ (61). Still, Gasche is keen to point out that with respect to the Yale School of literary criticism, one could point to numerous misappropriations of deconstruction (formal, his­ torical, methodological) that neutralized deconstruction as an invention of difference at the cost of inventing something different in its place, inaugurating a decadent phase of the new criticism. 92 F a l l 1995 Book Reviews In Chapter Three, “The Eclipse of Difference,” Gasche addresses whether deconstruc­ tion has emancipated difference from identity. It turns out that there can only be a partial liberation of difference from identity, a “ relative liberation,” since to liberate difference entirely would be to abolish the difference between difference and identity. “ By...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1931-0234
Print ISSN
0014-0767
Pages
pp. 92-93
Launched on MUSE
2017-07-05
Open Access
No
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