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Handbook of Inaesthetics (Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics) 1st Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0804744089
ISBN-10: 0804744084
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From the Inside Flap

Didacticism, romanticism, and classicism are the possible schemata for the knotting of art and philosophy, the third term in this knot being the education of subjects, youth in particular. What characterizes the century that has just come to a close is that, while it underwent the saturation of these three schemata, it failed to introduce a new one. Today, this predicament tends to produce a kind of unknotting of terms, a desperate dis-relation between art and philosophy, together with the pure and simple collapse of what circulated between them: the theme of education.
Whence the thesis of which this book is nothing but a series of variations: faced with such a situation of saturation and closure, we must attempt to propose a new schema, a fourth type of knot between philosophy and art.
Among these “inaesthetic” variations, the reader will encounter a sustained debate with contemporary philosophical uses of the poem, bold articulations of the specificity and prospects of theater, cinema, and dance, along with subtle and provocative readings of Fernando Pessoa, Stéphane Mallarmé, and Samuel Beckett.

About the Author

Alain Badiou holds the Chair of Philosophy at the École Normale Supériere in Paris. Many of his books have been translated into English, including Saint Paul: The Foundation of Universalism (Stanford, 2003), Manifesto for Philosophy (1999), and Deleuze: The Clamor of Being (1999).

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Product Details

  • Series: Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics
  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (October 28, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804744084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804744089
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,195,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Robert Hughes on November 8, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
His Ethics book was intriguing, but somewhat too breezy for my taste; the Manifesto seemed a little scattered and didn't successfully engage my interest. This book, Badiou's little Handbook of the Inaesthetic, is altogether more satisfying. It has a very congenial density to it and it works well in that French way, shuttling between the revelatory and the obscure. So, you have here a very readable contribution to aesthetics in a post-Lacanian, post-Heideggerian mode. Badiou does original thinking within that mode, so I think this book should have something to offer even to those who are fairly well read in this stuff.

Badiou grounds his discussions in readings of Mallarme (and others: Pessoa, Celan, Beckett), but his aim is a philosophical one, so the book is addressed to a broader audience than just Mallarme scholars. Whereas in the Ethics book his art examples came from music (Haydn, Schoenberg) and theater (Hamlet), here the examples are predominantly from poets, and occasionally from film and theater. He also writes about dance, but concludes that "art" is not quite the name for what dance is.

The book is not very much concerned to give an explicit overview of Badiou's thought, but the general outlines can be inferred and because it is so successful in its own terms, it might be a pretty good place to start with Badiou.

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