Between Auschwitz and Tradition: Postmodern Reflections on the Task of Thinking

Rodopi (1994)

Abstract

The reference of the postmodern task of thinking is Auschwitz, the abyss and discontinuity separating us from the world of our ancestors. As inhabitants of Planet Auschwitz our point of reference lacks all transcendental warrants; it is not a non-referable reference which constitutes the abyss we must enter, endure, and in which our intellectual and cultural tradition must be transformed. The private/public transformations which constitute the texts of this book attempt to depart from the dystopic individuality and public life resulting from business-as-usual after Auschwitz. The three parts of the book are progressive reworkings of traditional metaphysics as adapted and modified by a modernism that refuses to grapple with its complicity. It is precisely that complicity which postmodern thinking takes up in its attempt to signify otherwise than the easy modernist translations and images of tradition. Thus it is a series of uneasy images imaging otherwise but never apart from modernity that take us away from complicity toward a transformed tradition.The uneasy images of this book are photogrammic combinations of photographs and texts, mutual supplements, pulling tradition through the Event against the persistent and murderous forces of contemporary idolatry and repression

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