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This volume, a powerful short prose piece by Blanchot with an extended essay by Derrida, records a remarkable encounter in critical and philosophical thinking.
"First Published in 2002, Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company."
Romanticism After Auschwitz reveals how one of the most insistently anti-romantic discourses, post-Holocaust testimony, remains romantic, and proceeds to show how this insight compels a thorough rethinking of romanticism.
These essays attempt to confront the effect of years of postmodernity and its promotion of individuality at the cost of solidarity and communal spirit. In the wake of this it suggests possible frameworks for an art study that restores a certain focus on communal spirit. It proposes, too, that art study’s fragile position in contemporary society is a consequence of over-commercialisation and its resultant surface values. Consumerist and corporate ideology encourage the consumer/individual’s self-realisation, seemingly divorced from communal interests. Within this isolation lies the potential breakdown of ethics. Therefore, I dream of a kinder society, i.e. one where we are engaged in realising the community, as its citizens. This is not blind obedience, but in a spirit of contributing to a whole (society). More specifically, it means allowing and, to a degree, maintaining art study, as a sphere of possibilities for budding citizen artists. It is envisaging art study as a discursive arena, and creating an academic space that allows for art’s main contribution - the dislodging of the so-called proper – i.e. entrenched doctrine. I believe that art study can contribute to the improving of society, in the main, because art enacts a different sharing of the sensible.
In the time of ends, the most dangerous technology of nuclear weapons confronts us with a new philosophy of the future.
Ananda Abeysekara contends that democracy, along with its cherished secular norms, is founded on the idea of a promise deferred to the future. Rooted in democracy's messianic promise is the belief that religious political identity-such as Buddhist, Hindu, Sinhalese, Christian, Muslim, or Tamil can be critiqued, neutralized, improved, and changed, even while remaining inseparable from the genocide of the past. This facile belief, he argues, is precisely what distracts us from challenging the violence inherent in postcolonial political sovereignty. At the same time, we cannot simply dismiss the democratic concept, since it permeates so deeply through our modernist, capitalist, and humanist selves. In The Politics of Postsecular Religion, Abeysekara invites us to reconsider our ethical-political legacies, to look at them not as problems, but as aporias, in the Derridean sense-that is, as contradictions or impasses incapable of resolution. Disciplinary theorizing in religion and politics, he argues, is unable to identify the aporias of our postcolonial modernity. The aporetic legacies, which are like specters that cannot be wished away, demand a new kind of thinking. It is this thinking that Abeysekara calls mourning and un-inheriting. Un-inheriting is a way of meditating on history that both avoids the simple binary of remembering and forgetting and provides an original perspective on heritage, memory, and time. Abeysekara situates aporias in the settings and cultures of the United States, France, England, Sri Lanka, India, and Tibet. In presenting concrete examples of religion in public life, he questions the task of refashioning the aporetic premises of liberalism and secularism. Through close readings of Nietzsche, Heidegger, Arendt, Derrida, Butler, and Agamben, as well as Foucault, Asad, Chakrabarty, Balibar, and Zizek, he offers readers a way to think about the futures of postsecular politics that is both dynamic and creative.
Writing, Maurice Blanchot taught us, is not something that is in one's power. It is, rather, a search for a non-power that refuses mastery, order, and all established authority. For Blanchot, this search was guided by an enigmatic exigency, an arresting rupture, and a promise of justice that required endless contestation of every usurping authority, an endless going out toward the other. "The step/not beyond" ("le pas au-dela") names this exilic passage as it took form in his influential later work, but not as a theme or concept, since its "step" requires a transgression of discursive limits and any grasp afforded by the labor of the negative. Thus, to follow "the step/not beyond" is to follow a kind of event in writing, to enter a movement that is never quite captured in any defining or narrating account. Last Steps attempts a practice of reading that honors the exilic exigency even as it risks drawing Blanchot's reflective writings and fragmentary narratives into the articulation of a reading. It brings to the fore Blanchot's exceptional contributions to contemporary thought on the ethico-political relation, language, and the experience of human finitude. It offers the most sustained interpretation of The Step Not Beyond available, with attentive readings of a number of major texts, as well as chapters on Levinas and Blanchot's relation to Judaism. Its trajectory of reading limns the meaning of a question from The Infinite Conversation that implies an opening and a singular affirmation rather than a closure: "How had he come to will the interruption of the discourse?"

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