Language and Death: The Place of Negativity (Theory and History of Literature)

Language and Death: The Place of Negativity (Theory and History of Literature)

Giorgio Agamben

Language: English

Pages: 138

ISBN: 0816649235

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A formidable and influential work, Language and Death sheds a highly original light on issues central to Continental philosophy, literary theory, deconstruction, hermeneutics, and speech-act theory. Focusing especially on the incompatible philosophical systems of Hegel and Heidegger within the space of negativity, Giorgio Agamben offers a rigorous reading of numerous philosophical and poetic works to examine how these issues have been traditionally explored. Agamben argues that the human being is not just “speaking” and “mortal” but irreducibly “social” and “ethical.”Giorgio Agamben teaches philosophy at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris and at the University of Macerata in Italy. He is the author of Means without End (2000), Stanzas (1993), and The Coming Community (1993), all published by the University of Minnesota Press. Karen E. Pinkus is professor of French and Italian at the University of Southern California. Michael Hardt is professor of literature and romance studies at Duke University.












with the pronoun arrrllFith the plane ofd('mmrstration, and as a second essence with the com- mon noun and with signiji'corfon) constitutes the m'iginolnucleus of a.fraclUre in the plane of langtragc betH·ccn showing and saying, indication and sign{firation. This fracwre ttm'('rscs the who{e history ofmctaphysics, and "vithrnlf it, the rmto!ogical pmblem itse~fcamrot bejf.Jrmu!at('d. Every ontology (every metaphysics, but also every science that rwH·r~s. whethrr consciously or not, in. the fiehl

nomenology: Je vous souhaite done de Ia puissance a l 'acte, de la philosophie a la sagesse. Mais pour cela reduisez ii neant ce qui n'est que neant, c'estii-dire reduisez au silence h1 partie angelique de votre livre. [I wish you thus to pass fi·om potentiaUty to actuality, from philosophy to wisdom. But ,/(Jr that, reduce to nothingness that which is EXCURSUS 4 o 53 only nothingness, that is, reduce to silence the angelic pari of your book.] Any thought that wishes to think beyond

Heidcgger's thought in Sein und Zeit). In particular, we must concentrate on the precise meaning of the term Dasein. In p8ragraph 28, as Heidegger undertakes the thematic an(! lysis of Dasein as Being-in-the-world, the term Dasein is clarified as a Being-the-Da: The entity which is essentially constituted by Being-in-the--world is itself in every case its "there" (Da). According to the familiar signification of the word, the ''there'' points to a ''here'' and a ''yonder.'' ... "Here" and "yon

for the troubadours was a living of the razo-that is, an experiencing of the event of language as love- now becomes a reasoning the life, a putting into words of biographical events. But a careful annlysis reveals that in reality the authors of the razos do nothing more than carry the troubadours' process to its extreme conse·· quences; in fact, they construct a biographical an~cdote to explain a poem, but here the lived is invented or "found'' on the basis of the poetic and not vice versa, as

place of language posed in a poetic text? First, the poem seems to always already assume a certain characteristic of the lhis- both universal and negative·-·- which had guided the H.egelian critique of sense-certainty. If, for a moment, "this" knoll and "this" hedgerow seem, in fact, to be comprehensible only in an indissoluhle existential relation with the moment nt which Leopardi pronounces (or writes) the idyll for the first time, having before his eyes a determinate knoiJ or hedgerow, a few

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