Baroque Reason: The Aesthetics of Modernity by Christine Buci-Glucksmann

By Christine Buci-Glucksmann

During this attention-grabbing ebook, Christine Buci-Glucksmann explores the of modernity - alienation, depression, nostalgia - during the works of a couple of writers and philosophers, together with the social and aesthetic philosophy of Walter Benjamin. the writer examines Baudelaire's haunting photograph of the town and its profound impression on conceptions of modernity. She is going directly to contemplate how such influential figures as Nietzsche, Adorno, Musil, Barthes and Lacan represent a baroque paradigm, united through their allegorical variety, their conflation of aesthetics with ethics and their material - loss of life, disaster, sexuality, delusion, the feminine. In her exegesis of those basic issues Buci-Glucksmann proposes an epistemology

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The bisexual character of the Angel is also a feature of its weirdness: the Angel of revenge, the Angel of history, and the Angel of destruction combine the male and the female principle uncannily into a unified presence. In Judaeo­ Christian monotheism, angels occupied an ambiguous place in the divine plan ; in fact they were given substance primarily within an ecclesiastical context, namely within the hierarchy of the Church. This had important implications for the artistic representation of angels where writers like Milton in Paradise Lost cast them in the role of intermediaries, as Schelling (1989) noted in his Philosophy of Art of 1859.

BARO Q U E REASO N The Aesthet i cs of Mod e rn i ty I kneaded mud and made of it gold. To glorify the cult of images (my great, my only, my original passion). Baudelaire Nothing for me is disenchanting. The world has cast a spell on me. Quevedo BAROQUE REASON 39 Imagine a city with several entrances, a labyrinthine proliferation of squares, crossroads, thoroughfares and side streets, a kind of multibody of the past and memory. In short a baroque town: Rome, Vienna, perhaps Mexico City. Here a flaneur is eagerly seeking out the new and the strange scale-games played with reality and unreality.

There are in addition a number of important essays on Moscow, Marseilles and Naples which have been collected together in Reflections (Benjamin, 1986). Finally, Benjamin's volume on Charles Baudelaire (1983) was also a study of the problem of lyric poetry in the context of Paris, which he regarded as the capital of nineteenth-century Europe. Benjamin, like many sociologists in the period 1890-1920, was fascinated by the new forms of existence made possible by large capital cities such as London, New York, Paris and Berlin.

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