The politics of literature is not the same as the politics of writers and their commitments, nor does it concern the way writers represent social structures or political struggles. The expression ′politics of literature′ assumes that there is a specific connection between politics as a form of collective practice and literature as a historically determined regime of the art of writing. It implies that literature intervenes in the parceling out of space and time, place and identity, speech and noise, the visible and the invisible, that is the arena of the political. This book seeks to show how the literary revolution shatters the perceptible order that underpinned traditional hierarchies, but also why literary equality foils any bid to place literature in the service of politics or in its place. It tests its hypotheses on certain writers: Flaubert, Tolstoy, Hugo, Mallarmé, Brecht and Borges, to name a few. It also shows the consequences of this for psychoanalytical intepretation, historical narration and philosophical conceptualization.
Dissensus: On Politics and Aesthetics brings together some of Jacques Rancière's most recent writings on art and politics to show the critical potential of two of his most important concepts: the aesthetics of politics and the politics of aesthetics. In this fascinating collection, Rancière engages in a radical critique of some of his major contemporaries on questions of art and politics: Gilles Deleuze, Antonio Negri, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou and Jacques Derrida. The essays show how Rancière's ideas can be used to analyse contemporary trends in both art and politics, including the events surrounding 9/11, war in the contemporary consensual age, and the ethical turn of aesthetics and politics. Rancière elaborates new directions for the concepts of politics and communism, as well as the notion of what a 'politics of art' might be. This important collection includes several essays that have never previously been published in English, as well as a brand new afterword. Together these essays serve as a superb introduction to the work of one of the world's most influential contemporary thinkers.
Rancière’s magnum opus on the aesthetic Aisthesis is Jacques Rancière’s long-awaited, definitive statement on aesthetics, art and modernity. The book comprises a string of dramatic and evocative locales, each embodying specific artistic tendencies and together spanning the modern era—from Dresden in 1764 to New York in 1941. Along the way, we view the Belvedere Torso with Winckelmann, accompany Hegel to the museum and Mallarmé to the Folies-Bergère, attend a lecture by Emerson, and visit exhibitions in Paris and New York, factories in Berlin, and film sets in Moscow and Hollywood. Rancière uses these sites and events—some famous, others forgotten—to ask what becomes art and what comes of it. He shows how a regime of artistic perception and interpretation was constituted and transformed by erasing the distinctions between the different arts along with the borders separating them from ordinary experience. This incisive study provides a history of artistic modernity far removed from conventional understandings of modernism.
In Film Fables Jacques Ranciere turns his critical eye to the history of modern cinema. Combining an extraordinary breadth of analysis with an attentiveness to detail born from an obvious love of cinema, Ranciere shows us new ways of looking at and interpreting film. His analysis moves effortlessly from Eisenstein's and Murnau's transition from theatre to film to Fritz Lang's confrontation with television, from the classical poetics of Mann's Westerns to Ray's romantic poetics of the image, from Rossellini's neo-realism to Deleuze's philosophy of the cinema. The book also includes extended commentaries on the work of Hitchcock, Godard, Vertov and Bergman. Film Fables is essential reading for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of the power and complexity of the cinematic form and it's rich history.
The taste of chocolate, the noise of a crowd, the visual impressions of filmic images—such sensory perceptions are rarely if ever discussed in relation to democratic theory. In response, Davide Panagia argues that by overlooking sensation political theorists ignore a crucial dimension of political life. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s and Jacques Rancière’s readings of Kantian aesthetics, Panagia posits sensation as a radical democratic moment of aesthetic judgment. He contends that sensory experience interrupts our perceptual givens, creating occasions to suspend authority and reconfigure the arrangement of a political order. Panagia claims that the rule of narrative governs our inherited notions of political subjectivity and agency, such that reading and writing are the established modes of political deliberation. Yet the contemporary citizen-subject is a viewing subject, influenced by film, photos, and other perceptual stimuli as much as by text. Challenging the rule of narrative, Panagia analyzes diverse sites of cultural engagement including the visual dynamics portrayed in the film The Ring, the growth of festival culture in late-fifteenth-century Florence, the practices of convivium espoused by the Slow Food movement, and the architectural design of public newsstands. He then ties these occasions for sensation to notable moments in the history of political thought and shows the political potential of a dislocated subjectivity therein. Democratic politics, Panagia concludes, involves a taking part in those everyday practices that interrupt our common modes of sensing and afford us an awareness of what had previously been insensible.
Jacques Rancière has continually unsettled political discourse, particularly through his questioning of aesthetic "distributions of the sensible," which configure the limits of what can be seen and said. Widely recognized as a seminal work in Rancière's corpus, the translation of which is long overdue, Mute Speech is an intellectual tour de force proposing a new framework for thinking about the history of art and literature. Rancière argues that our current notion of "literature" is a relatively recent creation, having first appeared in the wake of the French Revolution and with the rise of Romanticism. In its rejection of the system of representational hierarchies that had constituted belles-letters, "literature" is founded upon a radical equivalence in which all things are possible expressions of the life of a people. With an analysis reaching back to Plato, Aristotle, the German Romantics, Vico, and Cervantes and concluding with brilliant readings of Flaubert, Mallarmé, and Proust, Rancière demonstrates the uncontrollable democratic impulse lying at the heart of literature's still-vital capacity for reinvention.
Communities of Sense argues for a new understanding of the relation between politics and aesthetics in today’s globalized and image-saturated world. Established and emerging scholars of art and culture draw on Jacques Rancière’s theorization of democratic politics to suggest that aesthetics, traditionally defined as the “science of the sensible,” is not a depoliticized discourse or theory of art, but instead part of a historically specific organization of social roles and communality. Rather than formulating aesthetics as the Other to politics, the contributors show that aesthetics and politics are mutually implicated in the construction of communities of visibility and sensation through which political orders emerge. The first of the collection’s three sections explicitly examines the links between aesthetics and social and political experience. Here a new essay by Rancière posits art as a key site where disagreement can be staged in order to produce new communities of sense. In the second section, contributors investigate how sense was constructed in the past by the European avant-garde and how it is mobilized in today’s global visual and political culture. Exploring the viability of various models of artistic and political critique in the context of globalization, the authors of the essays in the volume’s final section suggest a shift from identity politics and preconstituted collectivities toward processes of identification and disidentification. Topics discussed in the volume vary from digital architecture to a makeshift museum in a Paris suburb, and from romantic art theory in the wake of Hegel to the history of the group-subject in political art and performance since 1968. An interview with Étienne Balibar rounds out the collection. Contributors. Emily Apter, Étienne Balibar, Carlos Basualdo, T. J. Demos, Rachel Haidu, Beth Hinderliter, David Joselit, William Kaizen, Ranjanna Khanna, Reinaldo Laddaga, Vered Maimon, Jaleh Mansoor, Reinhold Martin, Seth McCormick, Yates McKee, Alexander Potts, Jacques Rancière, Toni Ross
"Is there any such thing as political philosophy?" So begins this provocative book by one of the foremost figures in Continental thought. Here, Jacques Ranciere brings a new and highly useful set of terms to the vexed debate about political effectiveness in the face of a new world order. What precisely is at stake in the relationship between "philosophy" and the adjective "political"? In Disagreement, Ranciere explores the apparent contradiction between these terms and reveals the uneasy meaning of their union in the phrase "political philosophy" -- a juncture related to age-old attempts in philosophy to answer Plato's devaluing of politics as a "democratic egalitarian" process. According to Ranciere, the phrase also expresses the paradox of politics itself: the absence of a proper foundation. Politics, he argues, begins when the "demos" (the "excessive" or unrepresented part of society) seeks to disrupt the order of domination and distribution of goods "naturalized" by police and legal institutions. In addition, the notion of "equality" operates as a game of contestation that constantly substitutes litigation for political action and community. This game, Ranciere maintains, operates by a primary logic of "misunderstanding". In turn, political philosophy has always tried to substitute the "politics of truth" for the politics of appearances. Disagreement investigates the various transformations of this regime of "truth" and their effects on practical politics. Ranciere then distinguishes what we mean by "democracy" from the practices of a consensual system in order to unravel the ramifications of the fashionable phrase "the end of politics". His conclusions will be of interest toreaders concerned with political questions from the broadest to the most specific and local.
In The Lost Thread, RanciÃ¨re debunks the notion of Flaubert, Baudelaire, Conrad, Woolf and Keats as reactionary producers of bourgeois mythologies, and instead foregrounds the egalitarian and democratic impulses of modernist literature. Contrary to the canonical interpretation of the relation between modernism and capitalism via the commodification of everyday life, RanciÃ¨re proposes a radical rethinking of our received ideas regarding the politics of aesthetics in the modern era. Through a complex and original stitching together of form and content, modernists strove to depict by embodying new forms and regimes of material and everyday life. RanciÃ¨re articulates this substantial change in the politics of representation by explaining the shattering of the sacrosanct hierarchies of the genres and life-forms of classical literature. In the midst of the 19th century, poets, novelists and playwrights challenged the narrative staples of noble means and moral ends, and introduced an entirely new "structure of feelingÂ??. In this work, Ranciere continues his project of outlining an egalitarian "distribution of the sensibleÂ?? as the compelling linkage between politics and aesthetics in the modern age. The Lost Thread not only advances RanciÃ¨re's commended work on aesthetics, it also offers the reader in depth analyses of the writers in question.
The Sexual Politics of Meat is Carol Adams' inspiring and controversial exploration of the interplay between contemporary society's ingrained cultural misogyny and its obsession with meat and masculinity. First published in 1990, the book has continued to change the lives of tens of thousands of readers into the second decade of the 21st century. Published in the year of the book's 25th anniversary, the Bloomsbury Revelations edition includes a substantial new afterword, including more than 20 new images and discussions of recent events that prove beyond doubt the continuing relevance of Adams' revolutionary book.
The theorists of art and film commonly depict the modern audience as aesthetically and politically passive. In response, both artists and thinkers have sought to transform the spectator into an active agent and the spectacle into a communal performance. In this follow-up to the acclaimed The Future of the Image, Rancière takes a radically different approach to this attempted emancipation. First asking exactly what we mean by political art or the politics of art, he goes on to look at what the tradition of critical art, and the desire to insert art into life, has achieved. Has the militant critique of the consumption of images and commodities become, ironically, a sad affirmation of its omnipotence? From the Hardcover edition.
This book is not concerned with the use of Freudian concepts for the interpretation of literary and artistic works. Rather, it is concerned with why this interpretation plays such an important role in demonstrating the contemporary relevance of psychoanalytic concepts. In order for Freud to use the Oedipus complex as a means for the interpretation of texts, it was necessary first of all for a particular notion of Oedipus, belonging to the Romantic reinvention of Greek antiquity, to have produced a certain idea of the power of that thought which does not think, and the power of that speech which remains silent. From this it does not follow that the Freudian unconscious was already prefigured by the aesthetic unconscious. Freud's 'aesthetic' analyses reveal instead a tension between the two forms of unconscious. In this concise and brilliant text Rancière brings out this tension and shows us what is at stake in this confrontation.
No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to compare with that which unfolded in German culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. In Aesthetics and Politics the key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art during these years are assembled in a single volume. They do not form a disparate collection but a continuous, interlinked debate between thinkers who have become giants of twentieth-century intellectual history.
Alain Badiou is already regarded as one of the mostoriginal and powerful voices in contemporaryEuropean thought. Infinite Thought brings together arepresentative selection of the range of AlainBadiou's work, illustrating the power and diversity ofhis thought.
In this important new book the leading philosopher Jacques Rancière continues his reflections on the representative power of works of art. How does art render events that have spanned an era? What roles does it assign to those who enacted them or those who were the victims of such events? Rancière considers these questions in relation to the works of Claude Lanzmann, Goya, Manet, Kandinsky and Barnett Newman, among others, and demonstrates that these issues are not only confined to the spectator but have greater ramifications for the history of art itself. For Rancière, every image, in what it shows and what it hides, says something about what it is permissible to show and what must be hidden in any given place and time. Indeed the image, in its act of showing and hiding, can reopen debates that the official historical record had supposedly determined once and for all. He argues that representing the past can imprison history, but it can also liberate its true meaning.
An intellectual event, Derrida and the Time of the Political marks the first time since Jacques Derrida’s death in 2004 that leading scholars have come together to critically assess the philosopher’s political and ethical writings. Skepticism about the import of deconstruction for political thought has been widespread among American critics since Derrida’s work became widely available in English in the late 1970s. While Derrida expounded political and ethical themes from the late 1980s on, there has been relatively little Anglo-American analysis of that later work or its relation to the philosopher’s entire corpus. Filling a critical gap, this volume provides multiple perspectives on the political turn in Derrida’s work, showing how deconstruction bears on political theory and real-world politics. The contributors include distinguished scholars of deconstruction whose thinking developed in close proximity to Derrida’s, as well as leading political theorists and philosophers who engage Derrida’s thought from further afield. The volume opens with a substantial introduction in which Pheng Cheah and Suzanne Guerlac survey Derrida’s entire corpus and position his later work in relation to it. The remaining essays address the concerns that arise out of Derrida’s analysis of politics and the conditions of the political, such as the meaning and scope of democracy, the limits of sovereignty, the relationship between the ethical and the political, the nature of responsibility, the possibility for committed political action, the implications of deconstructive thought for non-Western politics, and the future of nationalism in an era of globalization and declining state sovereignty. The collection is framed by original contributions from Hélène Cixous and Judith Butler. Contributors. Étienne Balibar, Geoffrey Bennington, Wendy Brown, Judith Butler, Pheng Cheah, Hélène Cixous, Rodolphe Gasché, Suzanne Guerlac, Marcel Hénaff, Martin Jay, Anne Norton, Jacques Rancière, Soraya Tlatli, Satoshi Ukai
The French philosopher Jacques Rancière has influenced disciplines from history and philosophy to political theory, literature, art history, and film studies. His research into nineteenth-century workers’ archives, reflections on political equality, critique of the traditional division between intellectual and manual labor, and analysis of the place of literature, film, and art in modern society have all constituted major contributions to contemporary thought. In this collection, leading scholars in the fields of philosophy, literary theory, and cultural criticism engage Rancière’s work, illuminating its originality, breadth, and rigor, as well as its place in current debates. They also explore the relationships between Rancière and the various authors and artists he has analyzed, ranging from Plato and Aristotle to Flaubert, Rossellini, Auerbach, Bourdieu, and Deleuze. The contributors to this collection do not simply elucidate Rancière’s project; they also critically respond to it from their own perspectives. They consider the theorist’s engagement with the writing of history, with institutional and narrative constructions of time, and with the ways that individuals and communities can disturb or reconfigure what he has called the “distribution of the sensible.” They examine his unique conception of politics as the disruption of the established distribution of bodies and roles in the social order, and they elucidate his novel account of the relationship between aesthetics and politics by exploring his astute analyses of literature and the visual arts. In the collection’s final essay, Rancière addresses some of the questions raised by the other contributors and returns to his early work to provide a retrospective account of the fundamental stakes of his project. Contributors. Alain Badiou, Étienne Balibar, Bruno Bosteels, Yves Citton, Tom Conley, Solange Guénoun, Peter Hallward, Todd May, Eric Méchoulan, Giuseppina Mecchia, Jean-Luc Nancy, Andrew Parker, Jacques Rancière, Gabriel Rockhill, Kristin Ross, James Swenson, Rajeshwari Vallury, Philip Watts