Walter Benjamin's essays on the great French lyric poet Charles Baudelaire revolutionized not just the way we think about Baudelaire, but our understanding of modernity and modernism as well. In these essays, Benjamin challenges the image of Baudelaire as late-Romantic dreamer, and evokes instead the modern poet caught in a life-or-death struggle with the forces of the urban commodity capitalism that had emerged in Paris around 1850. The Baudelaire who steps forth from these pages is the flâneur who affixes images as he strolls through mercantile Paris, the ragpicker who collects urban detritus only to turn it into poetry, the modern hero willing to be marked by modern life in its contradictions and paradoxes. He is in every instance the modern artist forced to commodify his literary production: "Baudelaire knew how it stood with the poet: as a flâneur he went to the market; to look it over, as he thought, but in reality to find a buyer." Benjamin reveals Baudelaire as a social poet of the very first rank. The introduction to this volume presents each of Benjamin's essays on Baudelaire in chronological order. The introduction, intended for an undergraduate audience, aims to articulate and analyze the major motifs and problems in these essays, and to reveal the relationship between the essays and Benjamin's other central statements on literature, its criticism, and its relation to the society that produces it.
Author: Slavoj Žižek
The giant of Ljubljana marshals some of the greatest thinkers of our age in support of a dazzling re-evaluation of Jacques Lacan.
Mona Lisa Overdrive
Author: William Gibson
William Gibson, author of the extraordinary multiaward-winning novel Neuromancer, has written his most brilliant and thrilling work to date . . .The Mona Lisa Overdrive. Enter Gibson's unique world—lyric and mechanical, sensual and violent, sobering and exciting—where multinational corporations and high tech outlaws vie for power, traveling into the computer-generated universe known as cyberspace. Into this world comes Mona, a young girl with a murky past and an uncertain future whose life is on a collision course with internationally famous Sense/Net star Angie Mitchell. Since childhood, Angie has been able to tap into cyberspace without a computer. Now, from inside cyberspace, a kidnapping plot is masterminded by a phantom entity who has plans for Mona, Angie, and all humanity, plans that cannot be controlled . . . or even known. And behind the intrigue lurks the shadowy Yazuka, the powerful Japanese underworld, whose leaders ruthlessly manipulate people and events to suit their own purposes . . . or so they think.
Author: Jean-Philippe Mathy
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
What does "America" mean to French intellectuals? Is it a postmodern ideal situated beyond history and metaphysics? A source of spiritual decadence that threatens the European tradition? Or is it "Extrême-Occident," the Far Western site that gives historical reality to the utopias of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment? Jean-Philippe Mathy offers the first systematic examination of French texts that address the question of America. He shows how prominent French intellectuals have represented America as myth and metaphor, covering the entire ideological spectrum from Maurras to Duhamel, and from Sartre to Aron. The texts themselves range from novels and poems to travel narratives and philosophical essays by Claudel, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Lyotard, Baudrillard, Kristeva, and many others. Mathy deftly situates these discourses on America against the background of French intellectual and political history since 1789. The judgments on American culture that originate in France, he contends, are also statements about France itself. Widespread condemnation of American materialism and pragmatism cuts across deep ideological and political divides in France, primarily because French intellectuals still operate within a framework of critical and aesthetic models born in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance and elaborated in the age of French classicism. Mathy engages issues central to interpreting the American experience, such as the current controversies over multiculturalism and Eurocentrism. Although Mathy deals mainly with French authors, he does not limit himself to them. Rather, he uses a comparative, cross-cultural approach that also takes in accounts of America by Nietzsche, Heidegger, Junger, Gramsci, and other Europeans, as well as American self-interpretations from Emerson and Dewey to Cornel West and Christopher Lasch. Because debates on American modernity have played a crucial intellectual role in France, Extrême-Occident is a major contribution to modern French cultural history. It will be essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the main currents of twentieth-century French thought.
Frommer's Paris 2011
Author: Darwin Porter, Danforth Prince
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Author: Anna Maria Lorusso
Through a reevaluation of the work of some of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century, this book details how semiotics, social sense, and social communication can function together to analyze how culture works in the contemporary era.
Bonfire of Roadmaps
Author: Joe Ely
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Since he first hitched a ride out of Lubbock, Texas, at the age of sixteen, singer-songwriter and Flatlanders band member Joe Ely has been a road warrior, traveling highways and back roads across America and Europe, playing music for "2 hours of ecstasy" out of "22 hours of misery." To stay sane on the road, Ely keeps a journal, penning verses that sometimes morph into songs, and other times remain "snapshots of what was flying by, just out of reach, so to savor at a later date when the wheels stop rolling, and the gears quit grinding, and the engines shut down." In Bonfire of Roadmaps, Ely takes readers on the road with him. Using verse passages from his road journals and his own drawings, Ely authentically re-creates the experience of a musician's life on tour, from the hard goodbyes at home, to the long hours on the road, to the exhilaration of a great live show, to the exhaustion after weeks of touring. Ely's road trips begin as he rides the rails to Manhattan in 1972 and continue up through recent concert tours with fellow Flatlanders Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock. While acknowledging that "it is not the nature of a gypsy to look in the rearview mirror," Joe Ely nevertheless offers his many fans a revelatory look back over the roads he's traveled and the wisdom he's won from his experiences. And for "those who want to venture beyond the horizon just to see what is there... to those, I hope these accounts will give a glint of inspiration..."
Art in Crisis
Author: Hans Sedlmayr
The history of art from the early nineteenth century on- ward is commonly viewed as a succession of conflicts between innovatory and established styles that culminated in the formalism and aesthetic autonomy of high modernism. In Art and Crisis, first published in 1948, Hans Sedlmayr argues that the aesthetic disjunctures of modern art signify more than matters of style and point to much deeper processes of cultural and religious disintegration. As Roger Kimball observes in his informative new introduction, Art in Crisis is as much an exercise in cultural or spiritual analysis as it is a work of art history. Sedlmayr's reads the art of the last two centuries as a fever chart of the modern age in its greatness and its decay. He discusses the advent of Romanticism with its freeing of the imagination as a conscious sundering of art from humanist and religious traditions with the aesthetic treated as a category independent of human need. Looking at the social purposes of architecture, Sedlmayr shows how the landscape garden, the architectural monument, and the industrial exhibition testified to a new relationship not only between man and his handiwork but also between man and the forces that transcend him. In these institutions man deifies his inventive powers with which he hopes to master and supersede nature. Likewise, the art museum denies transcendence through a cultural leveling in which Heracles and Christ become brothers as objects of aesthetic contemplation. At the center of Art in Crisis is the insight that, in art as in life, the pursuit of unqualified autonomy is in the end a prescription for disaster, aesthetic as well as existential. Sedlmayr writes as an Augustinian Catholic. For him, the underlying motive for the pursuit of autonomy is pride. The lost center of his subtitle is God. The dream of autonomy, Sedlmayr argues, is for finite, mortal creatures, a dangerous illusion. The book invites serious analysis from art cri
The Bend For Home
Author: Dermot Healy
Publisher: Random House
A funny, direct, lively and moving account of growing up in small-town Ireland. Healy lovingly coaxes his childhood into being until, one day, his elderly mother hands him the coded diary he kept as a teenage tearaway and the uncut past burst in like a blast of raw air.
The essays in this volume refers to an epistemological borderline, a stage of transition in Western thought. Within the academic field of the humanities, this transition can be described as a movement away from the identification of meaning toward problems concerning the conditions and forms of meaning-constitution.
Women of Owu
Author: Femi Osofisan
Publisher: Ibadan University Press
This is an African retelling of Euripides: an unnervingly topical story of a people and a beloved city destroyed by the brutality of war. The play was first performed in Lagos in 2003 under the distinguished director Chuck Mike, and subsequently toured the UK.