This book marks an important evolution in Jean Baudrillard's thought as he leavesbehind his older and better-known concept of the "simulacrum" and tackles the new problem of digitaltechnology acquiring organicity. The resulting world of cold communication and its indifferentalterity, seduction, metamorphoses, metastases, and transparency requires a new form of response.Writing in the shadow of Marshall McLuhan, Baudrillard insists that the content of communication iscompletely without meaning: the only thing that is communicated is communication itself. He sees themasses writhing in an (...) orgiastic ecstasy of communications. Baudrillard navigates the Object'smaelstrom with the euphoria of the astronaut reentering Earth's atmosphere with no possibility ofassistance from Mission Control. (shrink)
As well as producing one of the finest of all poetic traditions, ancient Greek culture produced a major tradition of poetic theory and criticism. Halliwell's volume offers a series of detailed and challenging interpretations of some of the defining authors and texts in the history of ancient Greek poetics: the Homeric epics, Aristophanes' Frogs, Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Poetics, Gorgias's Helen, Isocrates' treatises, Philodemus' On Poems, and Longinus' On the Sublime. The volume's fundamental concern is with how the Greeks conceptualized the (...) experience of poetry and debated the values of that experience. The book's organizing theme is a recurrent Greek dialectic between ideas of poetry as, on the one hand, a powerfully enthralling experience in its own right and, on the other, a medium for the expression of truths which can exercise lasting influence on its audiences' views of the world. Citing a wide range of modern scholarship, and making frequent connections with later periods of literary theory and aesthetics, Halliwell questions many orthodoxies and received opinions about the texts analysed. The resulting perspective casts new light on ways in which the Greeks attempted to make sense of the psychology of poetic experience—including the roles of emotion, ethics, imagination, and knowledge—in the life of their culture. Readership: Scholars and students of Greek literature, Greek poetics, and literary theory and criticism. (shrink)
"The need to speak, even if one has nothing to say, becomes more pressing when one has nothing to say, just as the will to live becomes more urgent when life has lost its meaning."--from _The Ecstasy of Communication _First published in France in 1987, _ The Ecstasy of Communication_ was Baudrillard's summarization of his work for a postdoctoral degree at the Sorbonne: a dense, poetically crystalline essay that boiled down two decades of radical, provocative theory into an (...) aphoristically eloquent swan song to twentieth-century alienation. Baudrillard's quixotic effort to be recognized by the French intellectual establishment may have been doomed to failure, but this text immediately became a pinnacle to his work, a mid-career assessment that looked both forward and back. By carefully distilling the most radical elements of his previous books, Baudrillard constructed the skeleton key to all of the work that was to come in the second half of his career, and set the scene for what he termed the "obscene": a world in which alienation has been succeeded by ceaseless communication and information. _The Ecstasy of Communication_ is a decisive, compact description of what it means to be "wired" in our braver-than-brave new world, where sexuality has been superseded by pornography, knowledge by information, hysteria by schizophrenia, subject by object, and violence by terror. The Ecstasy of Communication is an anti-manifesto that confronted and dispensed with such influences as Marshall McLuhan, Guy Debord, and Georges Bataille. It is an essential crib-book, lexicon, and companion piece to any and all of Baudrillard's books. Twenty-five years after its original publication, it remains not only a prescient portrait of our contemporary condition, but also a dark mirror into which we have not yet dared to look. (shrink)
This paper examines the contemplative techniques that comprised wesley's method of spiritual transformation. By employing a psychoanalytic perspective that explains the pastoral effectiveness of the method, I claim that Wesley's view of spiritual growth was therapeutic and transformative as measured by contemporary clinical standards. Wesley's developmental model involved a series of spiritual phases each characterized by techniques and meditations that culminated in sanctification, a cognitive-emotional transformation marked by the eradication of sinful temptations and the perfection of altruism. Couched in a (...) theological idiom, the method helped individuals to work through conflicts created by the three main traumata of British middle class childhood: authoritarian parenting and unresolved bereavement grief. This paper argues that religious-cultural symbolism may promote transformations of archaic affect and neurotic conflict that progressively reshape these pre-reflective materials into complex existential insights and convictions. (shrink)
The notion that God and the world are mutually interdependent is generally taken to be unique to twentieth-century process theology. Largely, process thinkers have focused on classical theists, rather than the mystics. My thesis, however, is that, centuries before process came along, there were Western mystical concepts stressing that God needed the universe in order to become conscious and complete. In support of my thesis, I will provide a synopsis of the doctrines of God as found in mystics such as (...) Boehme, Dionysius, Eckhart, and then show how Whitehead’s aesthetic provides a coherent philosophical psychology of ecstasy. Key words: aesthetic experience, causal efficacy, consequent nature of God, ecstasy, feeling, German Romanticism, primordial nature of God, reformed subjectivist principle, Nicht, unconscious experience. (shrink)
Georges Bataille agrees with numerous Christian mystics that there is ethical and religious value in meditating upon, and having ecstatic episodes in response to, imagery of violent death. For Christians, the crucified Christ is the focus of contemplative efforts. Bataille employs photographic imagery of a more-recent victim of torture and execution. In this essay, while engaging with Amy Hollywood's interpretation of Bataille in Sensible Ecstasy, I show that, unlike the Christian mystics who influence him, Bataille strives to divorce himself (...) from any moral authority external to the ecstatic episode itself. I argue that in his attempt to remove external authority he abandons the only resources that could possibly protect his mystical contemplation from engendering sadistic attitudes. (shrink)
Documentary film is that genre of filmmaking that lays bare the fact of all film, which is that it presents "a world past" (Cavell, The World Viewed). This fact of film seems to point to a paradox of time in our experience of movies: we are present at something that has happened, something that is over. But what if we were to take this fact to show that film has the power to place us outside our ordinary, unreflective relation to (...) time? In this essay I examine three pre-cinematic descriptions of relations to time – in Emerson, Thoreau, and Weil – that anticipate the paradox of time inherent in film. I then put that examination to use in a reading of Werner Herzog's Cave of Forgotten Dreams, a film ostensibly about prehistoric cave paintings but whose achievement is its declaration, not to document some past time, but to liberate the present moment. (shrink)
In the spirit of philosophy as the synthesis of wisdom, David Farrell Krell offers a novel bridge between the proper disciplines of philosophy and architecture. His result examines the term “architecture” as one which finds its basis in the Greek root “tic,” which broadens the use of the root tec to suggest not merely a making or producing, but a reproducing or procreating. Krell employs a spectrum of philosophers from Plato to Derrida to position architecture as more than just an (...) enterprise of design, aesthetic planning, and space allocation. He develops the art of archeticture as paying heed to the lived body’s extension into its environment, with a sensitivity for architecture’s role in orchestrating the locus of life. Just as a mother extends herself for her progeny, she first lovingly extends herself into her progeny. In much the same manner, Krell exhorts design specialists to beget their space planning as much as they would craft it. The text calls for a rethinking of lived space from merely considering it as a three-dimensional continuum to conceiving it as an inscrutable receptacle into which we move, produce, and confront our cares and concerns. Krell suggests that architects sensitize themselves to the dynamism of the human body as it interacts with and navigates its environment. (shrink)
This book explores the imaginative possibilities for philosophy created by Nietzsche's sustained reflection on the phenomenon of ecstasy. From The Birth of Tragedy to his experimental "physiology of art," Nietzsche examines the aesthetic, erotic, and sacred dimensions of rapture, hinting at how an ecstatic philosophy is realized in his elusive doctrine of Eternal Return. Jill Marsden pursues the implications of this legacy for contemporary Continental thought via analyses of such voyages in ecstasy as Kant, Schopenhauer, Schreber, and Bataille.
The act of dance appears as a pattern of conscious movements in space and time, but a dancer who has the ability to go beyond the limits of space and time (experientially) can bring about a non-local experience of oneself and the audience making it an ecstatic communion. In this paper, we are interested in examining the extent of subjective experience of a dancer and his audience; hence, we take up a case study in first-person to understand the performer-audience interaction. (...) For this purpose, we chose Indian contemporary dancer Astad Deboo, an artist who is known to create such a magical two-way interaction consigning his audience as well as himself to a state of being mesmerized. The art of creating a non-localexperience seems to be his forte, where the audience can feel him within, while he feels his audience within. To explain this phenomenon, we propose the resonance of inner experiential states of the performer and audience as the underlying mechanism that creates a non-local interaction between them. To validate the present hypothesis, one must subject both the performer and observer to experimental studies, which involve simultaneous tracking and monitoring of the active zones in the brain associated with performing and performance viewing. In the above context, it would also be interesting to see if there exists a point of time during the performance event, where both these subjects report similar active zones in the brain. (shrink)
ABSTRACT Dance and music serve in this essay to exemplify both the looping entanglement of art and life as well as the account of art and philosophy developed in Strange Tools. This essay replies to criticisms of Carrie Noland, Nancy S. Struever, and Thomas Rickert and also offers a briefer restatement of the general approach.