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The Abyss of Freedom/Ages of the World (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism) Hardcover – August 1, 1997

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Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: German

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Product Details

  • Series: The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press (August 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472096524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472096527
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,748,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By philostratos on January 20, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains a translation of the second version (1813) of an important fragmentary text by Schelling, the Weltalter. This book also contains a very long essay by the 'popular' but (IMHO) overrated postmodern theorist, Zizek. Take note that the somewhat different third version (1815) of the fragmentary text of the Weltalter by Schelling has been published by SUNY Press. Those interested in these texts by Schelling will also want to read Schelling's Philosophical Investigations into the Essence of Human Freedom (1809), which is also available from SUNY Press and in an older but very good translation published by Open Court.
Concerning the book under review:
Pros: It makes easily available an interesting text for those unable to read the German, and the translation is very good. For those interested in Zizek (I'm not), you get an essay by him.
Cons: The translator did not provide page number references to the German edition. This fault is unfortunate because it creates more work for anyone who wants to check the original German, and makes it useless for someone without German (the presumed target audience) who wants to find passages in this text that are cited by other writers according to the original German edition. The actual text by Schelling takes up about seventy pages of this 182 page book, while Zizek's essay takes up 101 pages. Zizek's interpretation veers off into topics irrelevant to understanding Schelling (Lacan, a Lassie movie, cyberspace...you get the idea). For those interested only in Schelling and not Zizek, the book (I am referring to the paperback) might be overpriced.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mahatma Kane Jeeves on November 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is an odd creature to say the least. A great but under-appreciated text of German idealism is re-published in a new translation, along with an interpretive essay that evaluates it from the standpoint of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Personally, I found Schelling's portrait of the world as moving continuously towards full consciousness of itself to be utterly fascinating. I'm still not sure what to make of Zizek's essay - I have always been utterly baffled by Lacan - but if you're into that kind of thing, you might enjoy it.
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