Refine your search:     (pub:punctum)

In


Search results: Found 132

Listing 11 - 20 of 132 << page
of 14
>>
Sort by
The Death of Conrad Unger: Some Conjectures Regarding Parasitosis and Associated Suicide Behavior

Author:
Book Series: Dead Letter Office ISBN: 9780615600307 Year: Pages: 35 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Psychology --- Languages and Literatures
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

The death by suicide of Gary J Shipley’s close friend, Conrad Unger (writer, theorist and amateur entomologist), has prompted him to confront not only the cold machinery of self-erasure, but also its connections to the literary life and notions surrounding psychological bewitchment, to revaluate in both fictional and entomological terms just what it is that drives writers like Unger to take their own lives as a matter of course, as if that end had been there all along, knowing, waiting. Like Gérard de Nerval, David Foster Wallace, Ann Quin and Virginia Woolf before him, Unger was not merely a writer who chose to end his life, but a writer whose work appeared forged from the knowledge of that event’s temporary postponement. And while to the uninitiated these literary suicides would most likely appear completely unrelated to the suicide behaviors of insects parasitized by entomopathogenic fungi or nematomorpha, within the pages of this short study we are frequently presented with details that allow us to see the parallels between their terminal choreographies. He investigates what he believes are the essentially binary and contradictory motivations of his suicide case studies: where their self-dispatch becomes an instance of necro-autonomy (death as solution to an external thraldom, or the zombification of everyday life as something requiring the most extreme form of emancipation), while in addition being an instance of necro-equipoise (death as solution to an internal thraldom, or the anguish of no longer being able to slip back comfortably inside that very everydayness). The deadening claustrophobia of human life and achieving a stance outside of it: both barbs on the lines that can only ever detail the sickness, never cure it. Through extracts and synopses of Unger’s books, marginalia and underscorings selected from his extensive library, and a brief itinerary of his movements in that last month of exile, a picture of the writer’s suicidal obsession begins to form, and it forms at the expense of the man, the idea eating through his brain like a fungal parasite, disinterring the waking corpse to flesh its words.

Truth and Fiction: Notes on (Exceptional) Faith in Art

Author:
Book Series: Dead Letter Office ISBN: 9780615647104 Year: Pages: 40 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

Reflecting upon his experience making his 2010 feature film Mothers, a cinematic triptych interweaving three narratives that are each, in their own way, about the often tenuous lines between truth and fiction, and one of which actually morphs into a documentary about the aftermath in a small Macedonian town where three retired cleaning women were found raped and killed in 2008 and the murderer turned out to be the journalist covering the story for a major Macedonian newspaper, the Oscar-nominated Macedonian-born and New York-based writer-director Milcho Manchevski writes that,“Most of us look at films differently or accept stories in a different way if we believe that they are true. We watch a documentary film in a different way from the way we watch a drama. We read a magazine article in a different way from the way in which we read a short story. Sometimes, we even treat a film that employs actors differently than a regular drama because we were told that it is based on something that really happened. We treat these works based on truth or reporting on the truth in different ways.“Why?“What is it in our relation to reality or in our relation to what we perceive to be reality that makes us value a work of artifice (an art piece) differently depending on our knowledge or conviction of whether that work of artifice is based on events that really took place?”Further, Manchevski writes,“Every piece of art has to contain the truth. But, not the truth of what happened. It needs to contain the truth of how things are — and the difference between what happened and how things are is in what is important. Is it the events (and by extension the facts) of what happened, or is it the emotional and conceptual underpinning and thus understanding of how things are?”In this extended essay, or letter, Manchevski ruminates the different ways in which both filmmakers and audiences create, experience, and absorb the cinematic narrative with a certain trust and faith in the artwork to render, not the factual truth, per se, but the importantly shared experience of trusting “the plane of reality created by the work itself,” such that “we trust its inner logic and integrity, we have faith in what happens while we give ourselves to this work of art.” Truth becomes a question of what artist and audience can see and feel together: what feels real becomes the world we inhabit.

Desire/Love

Author:
ISBN: 9780615686875 Year: Pages: 142 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Psychology --- Philosophy
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

“There is nothing more alienating than having your pleasures disputed by someone with a theory,” writes Lauren Berlant. Yet the ways in which we live sexuality and intimacy have been profoundly shaped by theories — especially psychoanalytic ones, which have helped to place sexuality and desire at the center of the modern story about what a person is and how her history should be read. At the same time, other modes of explanation have been offered by popular and mass culture. In these domains, sexual desire is not deemed the core story of life; it is mixed up with romance, a particular version of the story of love.In this small theoretical novella-cum-dictionary entry, Lauren Berlant engages love and desire in separate entries. In the first entry, Desire mainly describes the feeling one person has for something else: it is organized by psychoanalytic accounts of attachment, and tells briefly the history of their importance in critical theory and practice. The second entry, on Love, begins with an excursion into fantasy, moving away from the parent-child structure so central to psychoanalysis and looking instead at the centrality of context, environment, and history. The entry on Love describes some workings of romance across personal life and commodity culture, the place where subjects start to think about fantasy on behalf of their actual lives.Whether viewed psychoanalytically, institutionally, or ideologically, love is deemed always an outcome of fantasy. Without fantasy, there would be no love. Desire/Love takes us on a tour of all of the things that sentence might mean.

Flash + Cube (1965-1975)

Author:
ISBN: 9780615624426 Year: Pages: 160 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Performing Arts
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

Flash + Cube (1965-1975) is an artist’s book about the Sylvania flashcube—the space-aged, flash photography device, revolutionary in 1965 and nearly obsolete by 1975. Assembled from a wide range of archival materials—a “terrorist letter,” G.I. photographs from Vietnam, Sylvania flashcube advertisements, as well as Long’s photographs and photomontages—the book explores the links between light, war, history and photography.Apart from its circulation as a novelty item online, the flashcube is largely forgotten. The history of photographic flash is also often relegated to a footnote and is strikingly under-analyzed. Yet flash’s blinding effects and military genealogy, and the flashcube’s precise contemporaneity with the war in Vietnam make this a rich analytical object with which to reflect on the cultural, political and economic imperatives of its moment. As Long’s deft work with this archive shows, the flashcube is good to think with.

Last Day Every Day: Figural Thinking from Auerbach and Kracauer to Agamben and Brenez

Author:
ISBN: 9780615719467 Year: Pages: 54 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Visual Arts
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

Where is film analysis at today? What is cinema theory up to, behind our backs? The field, as professionally defined (at least in the Anglo-American academic world), is presently divided between contextual historians who turn to broad formations of modernity, and stylistic connoisseurs who call for a return to old-fashioned things like authorial vision, tone, and mise en scène. But there are other, vital, inventive currents happening — in criticism, on the Internet, in small magazines, and renegade conferences everywhere — which we are not hearing much about in any official way. Last Day Every Day shines a light on one of these exciting new avenues.Is there a way to bring together, in a refreshed manner, textual logic, hermeneutic interpretation, theoretical speculation, and socio-political history? A way to break the deadlock between classical approaches that sought organic coherence in film works, and poststructuralist approaches that exposed the heterogeneity of all texts and scattered the pieces to the four winds? A way to attend to the minute materiality of cinema, while grasping and contesting the histories imbricated in every image and sound?In “A Philosophical Interpretation of Freud,” Paul Ricoeur (drawing upon Hegel) remarks: “The appropriation of a meaning constituted prior to me presupposes the movement of a subject drawn ahead of itself by a succession of ‘figures,’ each of which finds its meaning in the ones which follow it.” The notion of the figural has recently become popular in European film theory and analysis, especially due to the work of Nicole Brenez — in which the figure stands for “the force . . . of everything that remains to be constituted” in a character, object, social relation or idea. Her use of the term refers back to magisterial work of German literary philologist Erich Auerbach (Mimesis), who decoded the religious interpretive system wherein all persons and events are grasped as significant only insofar as they prefigure their fulfilment on the ‘last day’ of divine judgment.Auerbach’s 1920s work on figuration in Dante was an important influence on his friend Walter Benjamin; and it was this ‘theological’ aspect of Benjamin’s thought that caught Kracauer’s attention, leading to the problematic of the redemption of worldly things. Last Day Every Day traces the notion of figural thinking from Weimar then to Paris (and beyond) today, taking in contemporary writings by William Routt and Giorgio Agamben, as well as two filmmakers also touched by such thinking and its cultural ambience: Josef von Sternberg (The Blue Angel) and Douglas Sirk (The Tarnished Angels).Figural analysis has a resonance for its practitioners today that goes far beyond its theological roots and undertones. It has become a way to trace and write cultural history, sensitive to the smallest but most powerful vibrations, exchanges, and metamorphoses within texts, whether filmic, literary, pictorial, aural, or theatrical. Modern cinema, in particular, often reverberates with the apocalyptic thunder of the last day (think Lars von Trier’s Melancholia or Abel Ferrara’s 4:44 Last Day on Earth) — while also opening us to the miracles and mysteries, the perplexities and potentialities, of every day.

Making the Geologic Now: Responses to Material Conditions of Contemporary Life

Authors: --- --- --- --- et al.
ISBN: 9780615766362 Year: Pages: 262 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Geology --- Earth Sciences
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

Making the Geologic Now announces shifts in cultural sensibilities and practices. It offers early sightings of an increasingly widespread turn toward the geologic as source of explanation, motivation, and inspiration for creative responses to conditions of the present moment. In the spirit of a broadside, this edited collection circulates images and short essays from over 40 artists, designers, architects, scholars, and journalists who are actively exploring and creatively responding to the geologic depth of “now.” Contributors’ ideas and works are drawn from architecture, design, contemporary philosophy and art. They are offered as test sites for what might become thinkable or possible if humans were to collectively take up the geologic as our instructive co-designer—as a partner in designing thoughts, objects, systems, and experiences.

What is Philosophy?

Author:
ISBN: 9780615685137 Year: Pages: 72 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Philosophy
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

“Every written work,” Giorgio Agamben opens the preface to Infancy and History, “can be regarded as the prologue (or rather, the broken cast) of a work never penned, and destined to remain so.” Although that observation applies to any work of writing, the exemplary case is that of a work of philosophy. While every written work is put to work in its nonexistent successor, a work of philosophy is bereft of even that recourse: philosophy is written in the breakdown of destiny, so that every work of philosophy must first and foremost confront the absolute abandonment of its writing. At work in each and every work of philosophy is the question, “What is a work of philosophy?”More concretely, although well-formed and rigorously structured, What is Philosophy? abstains from work. On even a quick reading that fact must be palpable. A seminar paper? An article, or book chapter? Not in the least. Nor, essentially, may the individual pieces that compose it be so developed. Fragments unrecognizable as at one time a cast, inconceivable at a future time as anything else, the position of each piece with respect to the others thwarts development in order to preserve, in its place, the tension of its absence.As such, the articulations internal to each of the three divisions, and between them, are essential. The first division — What is Philosophy? — takes seriously Deleuze and Guattari’s contention in their book of the same title that “The nonphilosophical is perhaps closer to the heart of philosophy than philosophy itself, and this means that philosophy cannot be content to be understood only philosophically or conceptually, but is essentially addressed to nonphilosophers as well” — including the nonphilosopher in every philosopher. The second division — On Argument — interrogates the status and value of evidence, and self-evidence. The third division — On Not Knowing — generalizes a parenthetical observation of Agamben’s on Heidegger, “If we may attempt to identify something like the characteristic Stimmung of every thinker, perhaps it is precisely this being delivered over to something that refuses itself that defines the specific emotional tonality of Heidegger’s thought”: Might not philosophy be defined, the phil of sophia, precisely, as what it is to be delivered over to something that refuses itself?The first contours of a darkling shape, What is Philosophy? is none other than these—and nothing beyond their glimmer.

John Gardner: A Tiny Eulogy

Author:
Book Series: Dead Letter Office ISBN: 9780615734514 Year: Pages: 60 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Languages and Literatures
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

John Gardner’s career was permanently changed by his publication of On Moral Fiction (1978), a controversial and derided assessment of the state of literature as Gardner saw it. By arguing for a return to greater seriousness and moral commitments in literature, Gardner found himself attacked on all sides by critics and writers who found his conservatism suspicious or simply irrelevant.In this short tribute to Gardner’s late intellectual concerns, Phil Jourdan looks at some of the difficulties in On Moral Fiction, and asks whether Gardner was rigorous enough in his deployment of various philosophical concepts through his book. Convinced that, despite any problems of argumentative method or intellectual honesty, On Moral Fiction‘s basic message should not be dismissed outright, Jourdan tries to determine what is superfluous to the book, so that we may focus on its core: a call for writers not to forget their moral influence on readers.Now that Gardner’s career is half-forgotten, it is worth remembering this impassioned and public debate on the role of literature has been around far longer than we care to pretend: throughout the centuries, as literature attempts to define itself over and over, the question of morality is always lurking in the background. In John Gardner: A Tiny Eulogy, Phil Jourdan tries to separate the man from the argument, and insists that the latter should not be dismissed because of the imperfection of the former.

Suite On Spiritus Silvestre: For Symphony

Author:
Book Series: Dead Letter Office ISBN: 9780615747101 Year: Pages: 44 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Music --- Meteorology and Climatology
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

Carbon dioxide. This small book aims to open a door. It is an experiment in thinking about an object made extremely familiar to many people across the world in recent years through science, the news, governments, and public discourses. One of the first names given to carbon dioxide was spiritus silvestre or wild spirit, a moniker that has fallen out of favor. This experiment is a chance to hold what we think we know about this object in our hand and ponder our own knowledge for a while by looking at it in one particular historical context long after more modern names became familiar.Music. The reader is asked to create a space of visualization where the potential for new understandings arise when seemingly unrelated things and practices are taken seriously next to one another and where previous conceptions of wildness may have continued to emit sound even after formal names changed. In the 20th century, Charles Keeling was one of the major scientists interested in the wild spirit — he was also a musician.Illumination. Denzil Ford highlights relationships between the musician and the scientist and further considers conceptualizing an object of scientific inquiry through the framework of a piece of music. Her narrative approach does not spell out every point but uses text and image together; this is a work of experimental thought written in experimental form. She joins other scholars looking at the multiple meanings of carbon dioxide across time and space, and her historical and philosophical approach allows the reader a moment to remember some of the social layers of scientific research that have led to our understanding of climate change, one of the greatest environmental problems of the 21st century.

cruising in the ruins: the question of disciplinarity in the post/medieval university

Author:
ISBN: 9780615697659 Year: Pages: 95 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Education
License:

Loading...
Export citation

Choose an application

Abstract

This small book comprises the program of the 2nd Biennial Meeting of the BABEL Working Group, hosted by Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts from 20-22 September 2012, and co-hosted by Boston College, College of Charleston, George Washington University’s Medieval and Early Modern Studies Institute, Harvard University, M.I.T., Palgrave Macmillan, punctum books, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and Tufts University.

Listing 11 - 20 of 132 << page
of 14
>>
Sort by
Narrow your search