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The Politics of Aesthetics (Continuum Impacts) Paperback – May 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Series: Continuum Impacts
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic; Pbk. Ed edition (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826489540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826489548
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Jacques Rancière is one of the most important and original contemporary French philosophers. This book provides perhaps the best available introduction to his thought in English. Its main contents are two interviews with Rancière…they provide an extraordinarily concise and systematic summary by Rancière of the main themes of his recent work across its whole range. Rancière’s project is promising. It is illuminating to see aesthetics as political and politics in aesthetic terms, as a form of the ’distribution of the sensible.’” -Culture Machine (Culture Machine)

'Locating the political significance of art has not only gone out of fashion, it has in recent years become a source of embarrassment. No one has argued against this repression with more precision, nuance, and undeniable force than Jacques RanciFre ... This book, with an emphatic "Afterword" by ÄiPek, provides a riveting and compelling outline of the central elements ofRanciFreÆs politics of aesthetics and its relation to his demanding rethinking of the political.' J.M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

'A benchmark, this compact book shows why RanciFre is one of the most compelling thinkers and writers in France since Michel Foucault adn Gilles Deleuze.'Tom Conley, Harvard University

'This is possibly the most important essay, despite its length, since Adorno's Aesthetic Theory.' Adrian Rifkin, Professor of Visual Culture, Middlesex

'A tour de force! Through a revitalisation of the term 'aesthetics', Ranciere is able to raise novel questions concerning the nature of history, the sense of our modernity, the relationship between work and art and between science and art, and the peculiarity of aesthetic experience (showing, in essence, that it cannot be contained but informs all our forms of life and activities).' Keith Ansell Pearson, Professor of Philosophy, Warwick University

'The readership for Ranciere's work is highly interdisciplinary. Le Partage du sensible would be obligatory reading in graduate courses in Philosophy, Aesthetics, Political Science, French Studies, Literature, and Cultural Studies, where it would be read in the context of other major thinkers of politics and aesthetics such as Walter Benjamin, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Etienne Balibar, Michel Foucault, Paul Ricoeur, Jurgen Habermas, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Slavoj Zizek.' Kristin Ross, Professor of Comparative Literature, New York University

'RanciFre has insightful and novel things to say about the problems that beset our understanding of æmodernityÆ as it applies to artà.' Modern Painters, March 2005

"[A]n excellent introduction to Jacques Rancière...Slavoj Žižek writes in his afterword: 'Rancière's thought is today more actual than ever: in our time of the disorientation of the left, his writings offer one of the few consistent conceptualizations of how we are to continue to exist.'" - London Review of Books, August 3, 2006
(London Review Of Books)

“Jacques Rancière is one of the most important and original contemporary French philosophers. This book provides perhaps the best available introduction to his thought in English. Its main contents are two interviews with Rancière…they provide an extraordinarily concise and systematic summary by Rancière of the main themes of his recent work across its whole range. Rancière’s project is promising. It is illuminating to see aesthetics as political and politics in aesthetic terms, as a form of the ’distribution of the sensible.’” -Culture Machine (Sanford Lakoff)

'Locating the political significance of art has not only gone out of fashion, it has in recent years become a source of embarrassment. No one has argued against this repression with more precision, nuance, and undeniable force than Jacques RanciFre ... This book, with an emphatic "Afterword" by ÄiPek, provides a riveting and compelling outline of the central elements ofRanciFreÆs politics of aesthetics and its relation to his demanding rethinking of the political.' J.M. Bernstein, New School for Social Research

'RanciFre has insightful and novel things to say about the problems that beset our understanding of æmodernityÆ as it applies to artà.' Modern Painters, March 2005

"[A]n excellent introduction to Jacques Rancière...Slavoj Žižek writes in his afterword: 'Rancière's thought is today more actual than ever: in our time of the disorientation of the left, his writings offer one of the few consistent conceptualizations of how we are to continue to exist.'" - London Review of Books, August 3, 2006
(Sanford Lakoff)

About the Author

Jacques Rancière taught at the University of Paris VIII, France, from 1969 to 2000, occupying the Chair of Aesthetics and Politics from 1990 until his retirement.

Gabriel Rockhill is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Villanova University, USA. He also teaches at the Centre Parisien d'Etudes Critiques and the Collège International de Philosophie, France. He is the author of Logique de l'histoire: Pour une analytique des pratiques philosophiques (Editions Hermann, 2010) and Pour un historicisme radical: Entre esthétique et politique avec Rancière (Editions du Sandre, forthcoming).

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on July 25, 2011
Format: Paperback
This brief collection of Ranciere's corpus gives the reader a picture of his complex reworking of the logic of historical representations of art and politics. Ranciere is known for his reformulation of the great transitions in the history of art, to "regimes of historicity." In particular, his reflections on the "aesthetic regime" of art are truly incisive reconfigurations of politics-aesthetics in terms of what he calls the "distribution of the sensible." Additionally, the translator has provided a helpful appendix explaining Ranciere's terminology. This text is a very good place to start for readers who are new to his work.
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23 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have found this book entirely engrossing, despite some of the author's arcane writing style. The subtitle, The Distribution of the Sensible, is the major focus of the book,which is central to the author's ouevre. I find instances where he is building on both the notions of Foucault's power and knowledge equations of disciplinary discourse and Weber's processes of rationalization. The analysis of history as a possible fiction narrative is unique and erudite, as is his rethinking of Benjamin's "aura" in the arts as a distinction between mimesis and aesthetic forms of artistic production, which was a rethinking of Hegel's "Spirit". I dig it.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Geraldo on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I already received and this product is very good. I suggest for all people interest in Brecht and politics arts and philosophy
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12 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Lobo on October 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The volume tries to capture a snapshot of Ranciere's thought and claim it as milestone for English reading audiences. It falls short on a few counts, from translation to clarity, from background to accessibility, to make it anything but novel.

Unfortunately what Ranciere sets to do, denouncing in part the manufactured and false divide between aesthetics and politics, is a very important aspect of contemporary culture, and despite its obvious constructions for many, plenty of mainstream conceptions still play with that divide at the heart of how they present their activity. However, not only Ranciere's discourse seems obscure and convoluted during most of its length but the fact that he is making any meaningful contribution, it's doubtful at best.

The so-called "rethink" rests on a close knitted terminology that Ranciere has made up to develop his train of though, hides plenty of references and precedents, and should be better called reinvention rather than "rethinking". If one does not embed entirely the reading within his terminology, one may quickly realize the simplification of terms he falls commonly into, or ignoring entirely significant contributions that have explored in a much more inviting and meaningful terms concepts that he picks ups rhetorically ad nauseam.

This might be significant for some in a close follow-ship of Ranciere, the way his thought was developed, or the way one needs to admire and justify the professorship he held before his retirement, which carries the title of the volume.

The book comes adorned with a pompous translator preface and introduction and a cumbersome and often uncomfortably translated series of chapters slated in a semi-false interview structure to unveil topics of Raunciere's work.
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32 of 72 people found the following review helpful By T. Porges on June 5, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This sort of book is always a pig in a poke and the pig is the translation. the translater here, one Gabriel Rockhill, is either very badly edited by Continuum (always possible) or is a dreadful writer. If you want an introduction to Ranciere, read _The Ignorant Schoolmaster_, which is translated by kristin Ross. I can't imagine why Continuum put out such a shoddily edited book, except maybe they figured, cynically, it would be read by art students, on whom actual prose is wasted.

If you're in art school, you're already wasting thousands on a useless degree, but here is sixteen dollars that you can save. Don't buy this book.
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More About the Author

Jacques Rancière is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Paris-VIII. His books include The Politics of Aesthetics, On the Shores of Politics, Short Voyages to the Land of the People, The Future of the Image, and The Nights of Labor.

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