Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics

Kobo ebook | October 25, 2011

byGerhard Richter

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Gerhard Richter's groundbreaking study argues that the concept of "afterness" is key to understanding the thought and aesthetics of modernity. He pursues such questions as what it means for something to "follow" something else and whether that which follows marks a clear break with what comes before. Or does that which follows tacitly perpetuate its predecessor as a consequence of its indebtedness to the terms and conditions of that from which it claims to have departed? Indeed, Richter asks, is not the very act of breaking with, and then following upon, a way of retroactively constructing and fortifying that from which the break that set the movement of following into motion had occurred?

Richter explores the concept and movement of afterness as a privileged yet uncanny category through close readings of Immanuel Kant, Franz Kafka, Martin Heidegger, Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Bertold Brecht, Theodor W. Adorno, Hannah Arendt, Jean-François Lyotard, and Jacques Derrida. Through his work, the vexed concepts of afterness, following, and coming after illuminate a constellation of modern preoccupations, including personal and cultural memory, translation, photography, hope, and the historical and conceptual specificity of what has been termed "after Auschwitz." Richter's various threads of analysis—which cross an expansive collection of modern writers and thinkers, diverse historical moments of articulation, and a range of media-richly develop Lyotard's incontrovertible statement that "after philosophy comes philosophy. But it has been altered by the 'after.'" As this intricate inquiry demonstrates, much hinges on our interpretation of the "after," for our most fundamental assumptions concerning modern aesthetic representation, conceptual discourse, community, subjectivity, and politics are at stake.

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Gerhard Richter's groundbreaking study argues that the concept of "afterness" is key to understanding the thought and aesthetics of modernity. He pursues such questions as what it means for something to "follow" something else and whether that which follows marks a clear break with what comes before. Or does that which follows tacitly ...

Gerhard Richter is professor of German studies and comparative literature and chair of the Department of German Studies at Brown University. He is the author of Thought-Images: Frankfurt School Writers' Reflections from Damaged Life; Ästhetik des Ereignisses: Sprache?Geschichte?Medium; and Walter Benjamin and the Corpus of Autobiog...

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Format:Kobo ebookPublished:October 25, 2011Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:023153034X

ISBN - 13:9780231530347

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Table of Contents

Introduction: The Logic of Afterness
1. Afterness and Modernity: A Genealogical Note
2. Afterness and Critique: A Paradigmatic Case
3. Afterness and Aesthetics: End Without End
4. Afterness and Rettung: Can Anything Be Rescued by Defending It?
5. Afterness and Translation: The Politics of Carrying Across
6. Afterness and the Image (I): Unsettling Photography
7. Afterness and the Image (II): Image Withdrawal
8. Afterness and Experience (I): Can Hope Be Disappointed?
9. Afterness and Experience (II): Crude Thinking Rethought
10. Afterness and Experience (III): Mourning, Memory, and the Fictions of Anteriority
11. Afterness and Empty Space: No Longer and Not Yet
Afterwards: After-Words
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Editorial Reviews

[ Afterness] is a marvel of breadth of vision, precise detail, and depth of thought that philosophers will welcome.... We must continue to follow afterness now that Richter's Afterness has appeared, follow it in the sense of Derrida's suivre. To put it formally, after afterness comes nothing that comes-to-be, is to-come, or ever was. Neither the word nor the thing (as, again, Derrida would have said) called afterness can be abandoned or evaded. And that makes Gerhard Richter's Afterness a philosophical event. I conclude my welcoming of it by expressing the hope that Richter will continue with Afterness--for, after all, Hyperion signs his letters to Bellarmin with Nächstens mehr, "More to come, as soon as possible."