The Historicity of Experience

The Historicity of Experience : Modernity, the Avant-Garde, and the Event

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In this groundbreaking volume, Krzysztof Ziarek rethinks modern experience by bringing together philosophical critiques of modernity and avant-garde poetry.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 355 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.65mm | 616.89g
  • Evanston, United States
  • English
  • First
  • 0810118351
  • 9780810118355

Back cover copy

In this groundbreaking volume, Krzysztof Ziarek rethinks modern experience by bringing together philosophical critiques of modernity and avant-garde poetry. Ziarek explores, through selective readings of avant-garde poetry, the key aspects of the radical critique of experience: technology, everydayness, event, and sexual difference. To that extent, The Historicity of Experience is less a book about the avant-garde than a critique of experience through the avant-garde. Ziarek reads the avant-garde in dialogue with the work of some of the major critics of modernity (Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Jean-Francois Lyotard, and Luce Irigaray) to show how avant-garde experiments bear critically on the issue of modern experience and its technological organization.
The four poets Ziarek considers-Gertrude Stein, Velimir Khlebnikov, Miron Biaoszewski, and Susan Howe-demonstrate the broad reach of and variety of forms taken by the avant-garde revision of experience and aesthetics. Moreover, this quartet illustrates how the main operative concepts and strategies of the avant-garde underpinned the practices of canonical writers. A profound philosophical meditation on language, modernity, and the everyday, The Historicity of Experience offers a fundamental reconceptualization of the avant-garde in relation to experience.
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Table of contents

Introduction: The Avant-Garde as a Critique of Experience

Part One. Rethinking the Experience of Modernity:
Art, Technology, and Sexual Difference

1. Reproducing History: Benjamin and Heidegger on the Work of Art in Modernity
2. Contestations of the Everyday: The Avant-Garde, Technology and the Critique of Aesthetics
3. Sexuate Experience: Irigaray and the Poetics of Sexual Difference

Part Two. The Avant-Garde Moment in a Transatlantic Frame:
Poetics, Sexuality, and Revolution

4. Gertrude Stein's Poetics of the Event: Avant-Garde, the Ordinary, and Sexual Difference
5. History and Revolution: Khlebnikov's Futurist Revision of Modern Rationality in Zangezi

Part Three. From the Avant-Garde to Language Poets

6. How to Write the Everyday in Eastern Europe: Miron Bialoszewski's "Minor" Poetry
7. "A Sounding of Uncertainty": Susan Howe's Poetic Gendering of History

Beyond the Negative: An Afterword on the Avant-Garde
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About Krzysztof Ziarek

Krzysztof Ziarek is an associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Inflected Language: Toward a Hermeneutics of Nearness: Heidegger, Levinas, Stevens, Celan and coeditor, with Seamus Deane, of Future Crossings: Literature between Philosophy and Cultural Studies, also published by Northwestern University Press.
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